By Dave Faherty
Catawba County, NC (WSOC/CNN) - A mother and her 1-year-old daughter were killed in a head-on crash with a tractor-trailer in North Carolina.
Witnesses say the woman appeared to be trying to get around another car, in a passing zone, when the accident happened.
"It shook the house and we heard it over the TV," said Jerry Cassidy.
Cassidy and his wife ran to the crash scene Wednesday morning along Highway 150 about 100 yards from their front door.
When they got there they found a mangled mess of metal on both sides of the highway where the car hit the big rig.
The truck, which belongs to a Denver company, was hauling 30,000 pounds of concrete when the accident happened.
Cassidy broke out the passenger side window of the car to reach the driver, Tisa Strickland.
There was so much damage at first he didn't see her 1-year-old daughter, Payton, in the backseat.
"Seen the shape the driver was in, so I went around to the passenger side to comfort her for a couple of minutes and started looking through the windows and seen the baby was in the back seat. Couldn't see nothing but the baby's foot under the debris back there. I had no idea it was that bad," said Cassidy.
State troopers say both mother and daughter died at the crash scene. Highway 150 east of Highway 16 was shut down for nearly six hours. Investigators say the truck driver tried to avoid hitting the car by going off the highway.
The Cassidys aren't the only ones thinking about the family. Firefighters and rescuers who were the first to arrive say their thoughts are with the family as well.
"Anytime we deal with something like this it is really tough for our guys. And always our thoughts are with the family and what they may be going through," said Chief Justin Butler with Sherrills Ford Fire.