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Originally published: 2012-10-02 11:19:28
Last modified: 2012-10-02 17:45:36

UPDATE: DOT worker killed in a.m. wreck

by Staff Reports

A N.C. Department of Transportation employee was killed Tuesday in a collision near the intersection of Old U.S. 421 and Brown Farm Road in Deep Gap.

David Cook, 55, was in the northbound lane of Old U.S. 421 sawing a downed tree when he was struck by a pickup truck driven by Robert Schaffer, 50, said State Highway Patrol Trooper R.S. Townsend.

The truck continued after striking Cook, striking the tree and coming to rest at the DOT truck, Townsend said.

Emergency officials received a call about the incident at 4:39 a.m. Cook was pronounced dead at the scene. Schaffer was not injured.

Townsend said the DOT truck was displaying amber, flashing lights at the time of the crash. Conditions were dark and rainy but not foggy, he said.

Under changes to the state “Move Over” law that took effect Oct. 1, motorists are required to move over one lane, if possible, or reduce speed for stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights on the shoulder of the highway, including public service vehicles with amber lights, according to NCDOT. Violating the law could result in a $500 fine.

Under the new law, if the NCDOT worker’s vehicle displayed an amber light, the motorist who struck and killed the worker could also face Class 1 misdemeanor charges, per N.C. General Statutes 20-157.

Townsend said the district attorney’s office will determine whether to file any charges in the accident.