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Highway Patrol plans fund for trooper's family

Posted September 10, 2008

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— The Highway Patrol planned to set up a fund Wednesday to help the family of a trooper who died while responding to a wreck Tuesday afternoon.

Trooper Andrew Stocks, 43, died at WakeMed about three hours after his cruiser crashed with a garbage truck, authorities said.

His fellow troopers said they planned to open an account Wednesday at the State Employees Credit Union to help Stocks' wife, Liane, and stepdaughter. Once it's set up, people can make donations at any branch.

This is the second fund the Highway Patrol has set up in recent months.

The organization also created a fund for Trooper David Shawn Blanton who was shot to death in June during a traffic stop on Interstate 40 near Canton.

The fund will help support Blanton's wife and infant son, who has struggled with medical problems since his premature birth two weeks before his father's death.

Troopers also plan to collect donations and sell various items at their 8K run on Sept. 20 called "The Patrol Stroll."  Donations and some of the other money collected will benefit Stocks' and Blanton's families.

'Serious collision'

Stocks' fatal wreck Tuesday happened in mid-afternoon 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 did not reopen until night.

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 wreck there.

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. despite the crash that claimed Stocks.

'Dedicated public servant'

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. He joined the Highway Patrol in 2004. He is the 60th state trooper to die in the line of duty.

“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 on their shields Tuesday evening and will wear them until sunset on 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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  • thnbluln Sep 10, 2008

    Ems is My Life, Dohgousebrewery, and all of the others that share my same level of compassion and devotion to this public service careerand to Trooper Stocks and his family. Be safe. And I am happy to know I was not the only one so outraged by some people's ignorance at our devotion to our professions. It is US, that will dig deep into our already bare pockets and give what we can to Mrs. Stocks, bc we know that our measley pennies will never bring back her husband; but it may help her in many ways, it is US that have lost sleep over this, for the realization..."it could have been me", and it is US that will go out tomorrow and risk the same fate. God Bless all of you.

  • Shaking My Head In Amusement Sep 10, 2008

    My Fellow Public Servants & Thier Spouses: you're fighting a losing battle. The public will never fully understand the situations we face. We're expected to be perfect but they forget we're human. We do what we do, even with the piddly benefits and little pay, because we love helping others. A thank you at the right moment goes a long way in our hearts. I worked during Hanna, out in the pelting rain @ 3am for a young man who lost control of his car. His thank you made me forget how soaking wet I was. Trooper Stocks served his community in every way possible. I will be giving to his fund, my money will be a little way of saying thank you for protecting my back out there on those roads. We're all a family and the circle has been broken yet again. Your family as well as all the other public safety families are in my prayers. May we all stay safe!

  • kimmyrn6 Sep 10, 2008

    Thank you leo-nc!! Again, so well-stated. Superman seems to be ignorant to the real price paid here. . .

  • kimmyrn6 Sep 10, 2008

    Thank you doghousebrewery for saying it as eloquently as you did!

  • leo-nc Sep 10, 2008

    "but none of us get a lifetime free ride"--superman

    Superman, you're right. He paid with his life. His wife and daughter have also paid by losing their husband and father. I would hardly call that a free ride. Get over yourself.

  • kimmyrn6 Sep 10, 2008

    Superman has clearly missed the point, but he has likely never spent any time as a public cervant either. . .

  • doghousebrewery Sep 10, 2008


  • reid47960 Sep 10, 2008

    thnbluln well said! I can't believe the nerve of some people to question anything about this fund or the incident for that matter. I work as a paramedic and have worked along side Trooper Stocks during some of his time as a paramedic. This is a real tragedy and funds like this are set up to help. What really is the most sickening thing about some of these comments is that it is about the fund. This man died trying to help someone in need. Let's not forget the sacrifice's that are made day in and day out by YOUR public servants.The long hours, the weekends and holiday's away from there family. They are the ones that keep our roads as safe as they can, put out the fire in your house before it burns to the ground and begin the life saving treatment while they rush you to the hospital during your heart attack. None of us do this to get rich because quite frankly the money is terrible. We do it for the love of our fellow man. To Mrs. Stocks you are and will be in my prayers.

  • doghousebrewery Sep 10, 2008

    It's a shame the public does not know squat about Police Officers, Firefighters and Ems workers. You complain if we exceed the speed by even an ounce, when rushing to help others, yet if we are even slightly delayed, usually by someone that is so self involed in their own world by talking on a cell phone or applying make-up while driving, the first thing out of your mouth when we arrive is "what took you so long". Most public Safety workers work 2 and 3 jobs, just to keep their families fed and their kids in school. Before you complain about something you know nothing about, stop and look in the mirror...that accusing finger is usually pointing back at the truly guilty. A.J was a fine Marine, Paramedic, Trooper, educator, husband and father. Give him and his family the respect they deserve at a time like this. How many people here would lay down their life for another human being?...Not many I supspect from the comments posted here.

  • Grandpeople Sep 10, 2008

    My son-in-law worked with this gentleman and said he was one of the best. He was an EMT - a true public servant - we should all be grateful for people like him. I certainly am - I am praying for his family and certainly plan to donate to the fund.