Benson, NC - Man Escorting Truck With Oversized Load Killed on I-40

One man was killed in a truck crash along Interstate 40 on Tuesday, June 13th at about 8:30 a.m. The incident, which involved two commercial trucks, led to the closure of all westbound lanes of the interstate in Johnston County in the area of North Carolina Highway 210, near Benson. The westbound lanes remained shut down until after 3:00 p.m.

What caused my North Carolina truck accident?

According to members of the deceased’s family, Roy Ward, a resident of Leland, was behind the wheel of a pilot car that was accompanying a tractor-trailer that was transporting an oversized load. At one point, the truck pulled over onto the righthand shoulder of the westbound lanes of I-40. Ward also pulled over and got out of the escort car to check on the tractor-trailer, when he was hit by a second truck.

Sources reported that the two trucks were stopped across all westbound lanes. One of them had significant damage to its front end.  

Eyewitnesses said that a second truck was driving westbound in a left lane when it suddenly crossed into the far righthand lane colliding with the first truck that was stopped on the shoulder as well as the man who was standing outside. 

Despite CPR and other lifesaving efforts, Ward died at the scene. 

Eyewitnesses also reported that one of the tractor-trailer operators left the scene in a pick-up truck. 

The other tractor-trailer operator and his passenger were unharmed during the incident. 

No additional information has been made available at this time. 

The North Carolina truck accident attorneys at the law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have more than four decades of experience in dealing with fatal and injury-causing accidents caused by negligent truck drivers. We are committed to seeking maximum compensation for our injured clients and their families. We operate on a contingency fee, meaning you owe us nothing unless we win your case. Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation. 

How Do Truck Drivers Cause Accidents?

Even a small error made by someone behind the wheel of a truck can result in a jackknife accident, sideswipe accidents, and head-on collisions. 

Some of the most frequent causes of commercial truck accidents in North Carolina are:

Driver Fatigue

There are numerous federal regulations that are aimed at preventing truck driver fatigue. In spite of this, North Carolina roadways are still festooned with overly-tired truck operators. It is not uncommon for commercial truck drivers to forge their driving logs so they can meet strict delivery deadlines. Unfortunately, this often results in driver fatigue. When the driver of an 80,000-pound commercial truck falls asleep behind the wheel, the outcome can be disastrous.

Driving While Intoxicated

Some long-haul truck operators take stimulants in order to combat fatigued driving. Others might take illegal drugs or even certain prescription medications that cause drowsiness and delayed reaction times.


Speeding is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Large trucks take more time to come to a full and complete stop than a standard passenger vehicle. They can also cause multi-vehicle accidents if the driver speeds around a curve and loses control of their vehicle.  

Distracted Driving

Just like the driver of a passenger vehicle, tractor-trailer operators can also be distracted by their cell phones. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration addresses distractions caused by mobile devices by saying:

  • ·No texting
  • ·No dialing
  • ·No reaching
  • ·No reading
  • ·No holding

How Do Trucking Companies Cause Accidents?

Even in cases where the tractor-trailer operator is obviously to blame for the crash, the company they work for can also be liable. Employers are accountable for any wrongful acts perpetrated by their workers when the act is unintentional and took place during the course and scope of the worker’s employment. Besides vicarious liability, a freight company can also be directly liable because of:

Negligent Hiring Practices

If a freight company should have been aware that one of their drivers was incapable of performing their job at the time they were hired, then the trucking company could be guilty of negligent hiring. If this is the case, it can be held liable for any accidents caused by the driver. The company has a duty to make certain that a truck operator is able to safely operate their vehicle by confirming they have a valid commercial driver’s license, conducting a background check, and providing appropriate safety training.

Negligent Truck Maintenance

A lot of trucking accidents happen when a mechanical part fails. Federal regulations state that trucking companies are responsible for the routine repair, maintenance, and inspection of their fleet. The company is required to maintain accurate records of any work done on each vehicle. If the trucking company fails to properly repair, maintain, or inspect its vehicles, it could be held liable for any resulting injuries.  

Hours of Service Violations

Federal regulations place fairly heavy restrictions on the total number of hours a driver is allowed to work in a single day and in a week. Drivers are obligated to keep daily logs of their work hours and the companies that employ them have to check their logs to ensure they are complying with the hours of service regulations. If a trucking company allowed or forced a driver to violate the hours of service rules, and that driver caused a crash, the truck company can be held responsible.  

Were You Injured in a Commercial Truck Accident?

If you would like to talk to an experienced North Carolina truck accident lawyer about your truck accident case, call the law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp at (833) 997-1774. We offer a free initial consultation to all potential clients. 

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