A distracted tractor-trailer driver ran-over and killed a North Carolina Department Of Transportation (NC DOT) worker on Tuesday morning. The crash occurred as several NC DOT workers were beginning to place Work Zone signs and cones in preparation for a lane closure on I-40 West in Duplin County. North Carolina DOT was closing the lane so that workers could perform maintenance on a bridge at the intersection of NC Highway 24 and I-40 West. This is a rural area where Interstate 40 is straight and level, and the line of sight for approaching drivers is at least one-half (1/2) mile. Click here for 27 photos taken at the scene.
ABC News Channel 11 (WBTV) out of Raleigh dispatched a helicopter and crew to the scene and obtained areal footage of the crash site:
The crash occurred when 47 year old Ernest Harris looked away from the road to allegedly examine some shipping documents. Harris told investigators that as he glanced down and read the address for his next delivery, his big rig veered off the right side of the road. At the same time, 21-year-old Jonathan King was bent over looking down to unhook a trailer carrying an electronic sign that blinks a warning arrow that warns approaching drivers to merge over. The crash happened completely out of the highway on the side of the road. This is another tragic example of how quickly distracted driving can lead to a tragedy.