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One killed in I-85 wreck near Oxford

Posted February 15, 2011

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— One man was killed early Tuesday in an accident on northbound Interstate 85 in Granville County, the Highway Patrol said.

A flatbed tractor-trailer hauling steel rebar slammed into the back of a flatbed tractor-trailer loaded with bags of cement mix shortly after 4 a.m. near mile marker 199, authorities said.

Stefan Williams III, 59, of Dallas, N.C., was killed when pieces of rebar smashed through the cab of his truck, authorities said.

The driver of the truck that was rear-ended, Herbert Robinson of Orangeburg, S.C., was taken to Granville Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, authorities said.

Speed was a factor in the wreck, authorities said.

The wreck closed one lane of northbound I-85 for eight hours.


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  • brainship Feb 17, 2011

    Steffan was 60 years old. He's been driving for at least twenty years. Since I first met him. He's survived by two children, two step-children, six grandchildren, and his wife. Three of those grandchildren are mine. He left out Monday night at midnight, he stopped at StarTown truckckstop for a meal at about 0030. He called his son. I haven't had a chance to look at the accident, but I know his truck didn't have a headache bar. We still don't have solid details, but I personally drove with him, and I've run down the road with him from time to time. His son secured the load before he left, it was loaded several feet from the front of the trailer, and he'd be on the road less than an hour and a half. Is there more that could be done? I don't know. I pray that the traier had the headboard, the family will rest easier, but I fear it is not so. SMI was the steel company that loaded the trailer, and I believe it was their trailer. I'm sorry for the injury, and we pray for yours.

  • jenniferfullen Feb 15, 2011

    I knew the driver of this wreck personally. I can't say that things were perfect with his driving record but I do know that he was as careful as driving could allow. With the time crunches of this given field of work, he done what he could. When I heard about this wreck early this morning, I was more than angry with the people involved because noone was notified until hours after-the-fact and that was by a tow truck driver who wanted to know what to do with the load. The flatbed trailer did not have a head board, from what the friends and co-workers of the company has said, which is, to my best guess, why it was so brutal. The family and his friends and co-workers need your prayers right now. They are hurting. The family has lost a dad, a husband and a grandfather. We have lost a friend. God bless the truck drivers who put their lives on the line to help make your daily life a little easier.

  • april65 Feb 15, 2011

    Sometimes its not speed that kills but just stupid drivers in general. Truck drivers have to meet a lot of demands. My husband drives a truck and some states do not let you idle the truck...so how do they expect the drivers to sleep in 100 degree weather? How many of you complain when you don't get your delivery on time. Everyone needs to be cautious and I pray everyday that my husband returns home safely. So quit dumping on the truck drivers. If not for them you would be naked and hungry.

  • Skywatch_NC Feb 15, 2011

    I had a friend from Roa Rpds, NC who was a logging truck driver and one time he rounded a curve too fast on a highway and lost control of his rig several years ago. Thankfully, he didn't hit anyone else ...but the impact of where his truck came to rest sent a log smashing through his truck cab and he sustained critical injuries. He died enroute to the hospital.

  • NoSoupForYou Feb 15, 2011


    Inertia is one of the basic principles of physics. An object in motion tends to stay motion. No matter how well you tie something down, if it's heavy enough, it's going to want to continue moving if the rest of the truck comes to a sudden stop or experiences a very fast deceleration. Much the same way your groceries go flying if you have to stop quickly. A very, very heavy duty bulkhead between the load and the cab may have helped in this situation but rebar is very dense stuff so it has a lot of mass. My thoughts and prayers are with the families involved.

  • SaltlifeLady Feb 15, 2011

    IT sounds like his load was not secure. Yes, he was speeding, but there should have been some safety procedure/equipment in place to prevent the rebar from going through the cab. Otherwise, he may have survived the crash.

  • jennylock2004 Feb 15, 2011

    I agree. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to get somewhere that we forgot what is important. My husband drives a tractor trailer also. His company, unfortunalely, doesnt care how long they have been driving. They want the product delivered. Their motto is.....you can be replaced. Luckliy, his life and our family is more important and he is an excallent driver. He just has to be real careful watching those who arent. Prayers for the families

  • tarheelblue919 Feb 15, 2011

    its not only truckers who need to slow down...we drove to and from florida last week and not once did we have a problem with a truck, it is the cars we were slamming on breaks for cutting us off and stuff. everyone needs to slow down, stop driving like where your going is worth dieing for, or worse...killing for! my husband drives a tractor trailer for a living, and thanks to his extensive training and required fast thinking he has dodged a BUNCH of wrecks with us in our family car! be careful everyone and pray for this mans family!

  • BEACH Feb 15, 2011

    Long hours and deliverys to be made time and then some of just to tried to drive but have to keep on going. My brother a long-distance trucker f or 22 years hates to drive after 12:PM to many wrecks and truckers going to sleep . God be with these families.

  • jennylock2004 Feb 15, 2011

    tragedy! slow down truck drivers. I know you dominate the road most of the time and long hours are always a factor.