Nags Head, N.C. — A state Department of Transportation worker was killed in a crash early Sunday while crews removed sand from N.C. Highway 12 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the recent nor'easter that hit the Outer Banks.
According to state troopers, DOT employee Ronnie Anderson's dump truck broke down in the middle of N.C. 12 South on Pea Island and was rear-ended by a second dump DOT dump truck, driven by Michael Brad Stevenson. Anderson's dump truck flipped over, and Stevenson's truck caught on fire.
Stevenson, 36, of Hertford, was killed in the crash, troopers said. Anderson, 45, of Sunbury, was transported to Norfolk General Hospital, where he was in good condition.
Both trucks were hauling sand, and a mechanic had arrived to repair Anderson's truck just before the wreck happened south of Bonner Bridge, troopers said. The highway was closed from Oregon Inlet to Rodanthe until around 9:30 a.m. It is open only to four-wheel-drive vehicles during the day and will be closed at dusk.
Stevenson, an equipment operator, had been a loyal and dedicated DOT employee for 17 years, a spokesman for the department said. He left behind a wife and three children.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Stevenson family during this extremely difficult time," said DOT Secretary Gene Conti. "The men and women who work to keep N.C. 12, and all of our highways, safe and open for travel are special people."
Stevenson was the fourth DOT employee to die while on the job this year.
David Lee Cook, 55, of Boone, was hit by a pickup truck early Oct. 2 while removing a tree from Old N.C. Highway 421, outside Boone. Danny Burrell, 66, and Tony Wright, 65, both of Murphy, died Aug. 3 when an SUV veered off N.C. Highway 60, near Murphy, into a six-member DOT crew working on the side of the road.