Wreck closes US 13

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 4, 2008

EURE – A collision of two tractor-trailers left US 13 closed for nearly two hours here Friday afternoon.

The accident occurred at approximately 3:48 p.m. near Dave’s Place store in Gates County.

According to Sergeant M.W. Warren of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, it was likely a weather-related accident.

The skies were cloudy and it was raining when a tractor-trailer driven by Timothy Fultz was heading north on the wet pavement of US 13.

&uot;There was traffic ahead of him (Fultz) that began to slow and they were going to turn into the store called Dave’s Place,&uot; Warren stated.

He continued, &uot;Fultz applied the brakes on a wet road – it was cloudy and raining – and then he started to skid and lose control, causing him to go across the center line of the road.&uot;

Meanwhile, a J.B. Hunt transport truck driven by Eric Smallwood was traveling south on US 13.

&uot;Smallwood saw Fultz coming across the center line at him so he started steering to the right to get on the shoulder to avoid a collision,&uot; Warren noted.

He went on, &uot;But the vehicle kept coming and they hit head-on, not a square hit, but more like a glancing hit.&uot;

At that point, the truck driven by Smallwood continued off the road to the right and came to a rest in a marshy area. However, the Fultz truck jackknifed and came to rest in the road, effectively blocking US 13.

&uot;The road was closed for an hour and a half to two hours while the accident was cleared, and traffic had to be rerouted or either they had to wait,&uot; Warren said.

Fultz had a complaint of mild back injury at the scene, but neither driver was transported to a hospital.

As to preventing similar types of accidents in the future, Warren noted, &uot;When it’s raining and the roads are wet, we would ask that people slow down to below the speed limit just for safety measures and also increase their following distance behind other vehicles.&uot;

He continued, &uot;That would help cut down on collisions during these times and so helps prevent the possible resulting injuries from an accident.&uot;

A citation was issued to Fultz for driving left of center, but no other charges were filed.