Local News

Durham Police Looking for Hit-and-Run Tractor-Trailer Driver

Posted October 31, 2007

— An Iraqi war veteran says he is lucky to be alive after a tractor-trailer slammed into his car and kept going on Interstate 40.

While serving in Iraq, Maurice Atkinson was hit by a tank. His injuries left him paralyzed from the waist down. He had just started walking again when his car was struck by a tractor-trailer last Wednesday night. Atkinson was driving eastbound on Interstate 40 when the collision happened.

"He ran into me and drove over the front of the top of the car," Atkinson said. "Definitely, I feel fortunate to be alive."

Atkinson is on the road to recovery, but wants the person who was driving the tractor-trailer to come forward.

"I just hope that person, whoever they are, just does the right thing," Atkinson said. "You ran over top of me with something that weighs 40,000 or 50,000 pounds. ...  You just drove away. You really gambled with my life."

"You could have left me for dead because of fear and whatever it was," Atkinson said.

After the tractor-trailer trampled Atkinson's car, it went up the ramp to Interstate 540. There, the tractor-trailer caused another accident because it was leaking diesel fuel.The people involved the second collision were not injured.

Durham police said they do not have a solid description of the vehicle, but it probably has a reddish cab with a silver trailer. It also likely has visible damage from the crashes.

Durham Police asked anyone with information about the accidents to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers sometimes pays cash rewards for information, and callers never have to identify themselves.


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  • rnsjr Nov 1, 2007

    This guys nickname should be "Lucky"

  • john283594 Nov 1, 2007

    Could be a number of truck drivers, I almost reported a FEDEX truck driver on my commute home last night for reckless driving... I-40 is a death trap!!!

  • IHave1-2 Nov 1, 2007

    Just when I think my luck cannot get any worse, I'm reminded there is always someone who has it worse. There is a reason you can't/won't leave this Earth. God is showing others a plan through you. Remember, it won't get worse than what you can bear. Watch for that window to open. The hit-n-run driver will get his/hers in time... Much success is wished on your re-recovery. And thanks for a job well done in the military.

  • thinkbeforespeaking Nov 1, 2007

    that sucks and I know this dude. I went to school with him.... I hope he get some justice

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Nov 1, 2007

    Doing a better job driving than that truck driver!

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Nov 1, 2007

    I'm really glad he and the others involved are fine. I hope that they catch the moron behind the wheel of that big truck and throw the book at him. His CDL license should also be permanently revoked for the hit and run.

  • dogsrule12cheek Nov 1, 2007

    This Gentelman is very lucky he must be doing somthing right
    God has saved him Twice now, i hope he makes a speedy recovery.

  • skinnycow Nov 1, 2007

    It takes a heartless and cowardly person to hit someone and continue to keep going w/out regard for that persons life or injuries or well being. This person obviously has no conscious or sense of remorse over the fact that he/she/they could have killed someone. I pray they find this bandit and they are punished to the full extent of the law.

  • headlong Nov 1, 2007

    Boy someone is looking after him!!! Good Luck with your healing!!! And Thank You for protecting us!!!

  • packandcanesfan Nov 1, 2007

    Glad he is ok.. from both injuries.

    Big trucks are a menace. They pull out in front of you and make you wreck or almost wreck because their mentality is "go ahead and hit me.. I am bigger than you". My sister was sitting stopped at an intersection and an 18 wheeler was in the left turn lane... his light turned green, he started moving and tore the side off of her car and didn't even look back. Thank God she wasn't killed. She laid down on the horn and others saw it but the truck just went on his merry way.