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Highway Patrol: Trooper lost control of cruiser

Posted September 10, 2008

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— A state Highway Patrol trooper who was killed in a wreck Tuesday afternoon was trying to regain control of his cruiser when it slammed sideways into a garbage truck, authorities said Wednesday.

Trooper Andrew J. Stocks, 43, died at WakeMed about three hours after the 1:30 p.m. wreck on Ten-Ten Road, about a quarter-mile west of its intersection with Old Stage Road.

Stocks was responding to a wreck on U.S. Highway 401 at the entrance to Wake Technical Community College when his cruiser collided with a garbage truck owned by Republic Services.

A Highway Patrol accident reconstruction team determined that Stocks' car crossed the center line on Ten-Ten Road as he rounded a curve and he tried to regain control of the vehicle by steering hard to the right. The cruiser then slid sideways into the path of the garbage truck, authorities said.

The cruiser collided at an angle with the truck, and the point of impact was the driver's door of the cruiser, authorities said.

The garbage truck driver, Brian Jeffery Bruckner, 23, of Kenly, suffered minor injuries in the wreck. Bruckner tried to avoid the collision, investigators said, and no charges would be filed against him.

Investigators have determined that Stocks had his emergency lights on at the time of the wreck. They haven't yet determined how fast he was going, but they said they don't believe it was excessive.

Nearby residents said wrecks frequently occur at the curve in Ten-Ten Road because drivers exceed the posted 35-mph speed limit.

Investigators also noted the road was wet at the time of Tuesday's wreck, following an afternoon shower.

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 and is survived by his wife, Liane, and a stepdaughter.

"He is, was, a fine, fine young man, and I think I lost a good friend," said Bob Emerson, who lives across the street from Stocks' parents in Cary and watched Stocks grow up. "His devotion to his duties – to his country, to the state of North Carolina, to his family – are commendable."

A former FBI agent, Emerson said he often talked with Stocks about law enforcement.

"I think that may have influenced him to go into it, and it makes me feel just a tad guilty," he said.

A visitation for Stocks will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary. The funeral will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Colonial Baptist Church in Cary.

A memorial fund for Stocks' family has been established at the State Employees Credit Union. Donations can be mailed to the following address: NCSECU, Attn: Sherri Cannady, PO Box 450, Garner, NC 27529.

34 Comments

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  • leo-nc Sep 11, 2008

    Mjf, you're correct in that not all troopers have in-car cameras. Some of them do, and some of them don't. As more funds become available, the more cars will have them. I don't know if AJ had one in his car or not. If he did, them I'm sure they are looking at that video real hard.

  • RonnieR Sep 11, 2008

    I don't thinak all the patrolmen in C-3 have dash cams.

  • Travised Sep 11, 2008

    The Dash Cam should show a lot of data once they go over it. Depending on the system used, a lot of the time it shows speed of the car and current time. So depending on how it was set up that may or may not help. If there were any signs or autos in the area reflections will show if light bar was on or not.

    You have to go with what data you can get.

    As for the car debate, I always liked Real Wheel. Front your steering isn't as controlled. Rear you just have to be a little careful on slick conditions (snow, ice). Rain doesn't tend to be a problem with RWD. In Snow States we like to throw extra weight over the back axel (trunk) come snow. An extra 100 pounds or so help amazingly. Sand bags I'd suggest throwing in 150LBS and then you have emergency traction to throw out on the street if ever needed!

  • sportie Sep 10, 2008

    Beach,
    I don't think anyone has expressed sympathy for the other victim in this accident. He truly will carry a burden of guilt for the rest of his life. My sympathy is given to both families in this incident, especially a fellow fallen soldier.

  • seahawk135 Sep 10, 2008

    I am a former NCSHP Trooper and I now work for the federal government. I never had the opportunity to meet Trooper Stocks but I would like to thank Trooper Stocks for his fine service to the citizens of the United States and North Carolina. Trooper Stocks, all current and former NC Troopers will always bleed black and silver and just like the sign at the Training Center says: "Trooper Pride". We love you brother and rest in peace!

  • iwondersometimes Sep 10, 2008

    Job well done US Marine and NCSHP Trooper Stocks. Your life of helping others is finished. We grieve for your family and close ones who knew you. You were obviously a very giving person. In June NCSHP Trooper S. Blanton lost his life as well in the line of duty. Our prayers and thoughts are with the entire NCSHP family. 10-42 Trooper Stocks, your tour of duty is completed. RIP.

  • CrewMax Sep 10, 2008

    I feel for the young man that got slammed into. I'd bet he is going to live with that for the ret of his life. Thankfully, he escaped bad injury, but he might suffer emotionally. He was just doing his job.

  • roadtrash Sep 10, 2008

    Historians 13th
    Thanks for sharing that post....very nicely said.

  • imacoppiceman Sep 10, 2008

    May God touch your family and ease the grief in your hearts........

  • BEACH Sep 10, 2008

    May God bless his family. My prayers are with them and also the driver of the truck, think of how he much feel to see a car coming toward you and no nothing can be done. My prayers are with him also, he is a young man and has to live with that even though it was not his fault. Please do not blame the HP, this could happen to anyone on the road, and think he had traning in very different driving conditions.

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