Truck Driver Loses Consciousness, Slams into Tree in Eastover, North Carolina
EASTOVER, NC. – A truck driver lost consciousness and slammed into a tree off of Interstate 95 in Eastover, North Carolina, according to an online news story reported at fayobserver.com. The accident occurred on January 14, and the reason for the driver’s loss of consciousness has not been reported.*
At approximately 9 a.m. on January 14, 72-year-old Ronnie Earl Russell, of Orrum, North Carolina, was driving a tractor-trailer north on Interstate 95 in Eastover. Between Murphy Road (Exit 56) and U.S. Highway 301/I-95 Business (Exit 58), Russell suffered an unknown medical event.
North Carolina Highway Patrol says Russell briefly lost consciousness as a result of the medical event and left the roadway. The tractor-trailer then crashed through a fence at about 50 mph and traveled to a wooded area off of the interstate, then slammed into a tree.
“He ran well off the shoulder and on the grassy area a pretty good ways before hitting anything,” said Trooper A.M. Wickware with the North Carolina Highway Patrol. “He was more than 30 feet off the road.”
Photos from the scene show the cab of the tractor-trailer completely smashed in. However, it does not appear that Russell was seriously injured.
“It looked way worse than what it was,” Wickware said. “There was significant damage due to hitting the tree at the end. He walked away very blessed, considering how hard he hit the tree.”
Emergency responders took Russell to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for reportedly minor injuries. It is not clear what medical event led to the incident. Troopers said no charges would be filed.
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