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Trooper dies after wreck

Posted September 9, 2008

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— A state Highway Patrol trooper died Tuesday afternoon, about three hours after his cruiser was involved in a wreck with a garbage truck, authorities said.

The wreck occurred shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Ten-Ten Road, about a quarter-mile from the intersection of Old Stage Road, authorities said. Ten-Ten Road was closed while the wreck was investigated, and reopened before 9:45 p.m.

Trooper Andrew Stocks, 43, died at WakeMed at about 4:30 p.m. The garbage truck driver, whose name wasn't released, suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

A Highway Patrol accident reconstruction team spent much of Tuesday afternoon trying to determine what led to the collision, Capt. Everett Clendenin said. The cruiser collided at an angle with the truck, and the point of impact was on the driver's door of the cruiser, he said.

"This is a very serious collision for us," Clendenin said.

Nearby residents said an afternoon shower left the road slick, and they said the curve in Ten-Ten Road where the wreck occurred is the site of frequent accidents.

"What concerns me the most is the fact that curve is very dangerous," said Teresa Butler, who owns Stage Road Hairstyling nearby. "If you're coming around on the curve, you don't see a (vehicle) until you're on (it). Many times, people are slamming on brakes (and) going in a ditch, but the 35-mph zone doesn't seem to affect anyone out here."

No charges were expected to be filed, Clendenin said.

Stocks was responding to a wreck on U.S. Highway 401 when his cruiser collided with the garbage truck, Clendenin said, adding that he didn't know whether Stocks' blue lights and siren were on at the time.

U.S. 401 was closed in both directions in front of Wake Technical Community College's main entrance for more than two hours following the second wreck.

A pickup hauling a trailer went out of control, flipped and slammed into a utility pole, knocking down power lines and traffic lights, authorities said. The driver suffered minor injuries.

Officials at Vance Elementary School, at 8808 Old Stage Road, worked with Wake County authorities to get cars and school buses into and out of the school parking lots so students could be dismissed on time at 3:45 p.m.

Stocks graduated from Cary High School in 1983, served as a Marine in Afghanistan and an 18-month tour of duty in Iraq with the Army Reserves and joined the Highway Patrol in 2004. He is the 60th state trooper to die in the line of duty and is survived by his wife, Liane, and a stepdaughter.

“Andrew was a dedicated public servant. He served his military honorably and continued in his service to the state. He was happiest when performing his job as a trooper. He loved his job,” Liane Stocks said in a statement.

State troopers started wearing black bands over their badges Tuesday evening and will continue to wear them until sunset the day of Stocks’ funeral, Clendenin said. Funeral arrangements are pending.

"Trooper Stocks was a very dedicated, enthusiastic trooper," said Col. Walter Wilson, commander of the Highway Patrol. "He loved his job. He was a very valuable member of the Highway Patrol. We are going to miss him."

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  • true and blue Sep 10, 2008

    This is so sad ~ May the Lord offer the family comfort as only He can do.

  • VivaceConBrio Sep 10, 2008

    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
    John 15:13

    Thank you officer Stocks for your commitment to serve, oath to protect, devotion to duty and promise to walk on the right side of the law. You will never be forgotten. Watch over those brothers and sisters in brown, grey, and blue, who continue to walk the thin blue line.

  • leo-nc Sep 10, 2008

    He died protecting you, even as you sit behind a keyboard and question him.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Sep 10, 2008

    Officers should watch their speeding, too. My condolences to the family.

  • BLK 007 Sep 10, 2008

    When they ask ,why did you do it , are you some kinda hero or something. You will simply say. I did it for my Country , my State and for the man next to me. God open up his doors and called one of his finest on home. You will never be forgotten. Rest in peace and job well done.My heart felt prayers go out to the family and friends. I wish for you God speed in this difficult time. No Man gets left behind. Semper Fi-Rangers all the Way.

  • Sweet Butterfly Kisses Sep 9, 2008

    Sad! Many, Many Prayers, from Goldsboro. RIP, My Friend.

  • reid47960 Sep 9, 2008

    My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. AJ taught part of my paramedic program at Wake Tech and I worked with him with FirstHealth in Chatham county. He was one of a kind and he will be missed. Rest in peace.

  • Sweet Butterfly Kisses Sep 9, 2008

    Tr

  • give me no quarter Sep 9, 2008

    My prayers are with his family. Thank you WRAL for blocking the haters.

  • redline100 Sep 9, 2008

    From someone who was working in the 911 Dispatch Center at the time of the wreck, and on my coworkers' behalf as well, RIP Trooper Stocks, and may God be with his family during this time! Our prayers are with you!

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