Local News

Troopers: Slow driver caused wreck on I-40

Posted February 22, 2010

— State troopers charged a 65-year-old man they say was driving slowly on Interstate 40 in Sampson County, causing a wreck early Monday.

Troopers said that John Henry Watkins, of Garner, was driving a pickup truck at 10 mph in the left lane of I-40 East through Faison around 1 a.m. The driver of a Honda Accord driver saw Watkins' truck in the lane ahead of him. Both drivers tried to swerve into the right lane at the same time, troopers said. The vehicles collided, and Watkins' pickup ran off the road and overturned.

Both drivers are expected to be OK, troopers said.

Watkins was charged with impeding traffic and failure to comply with a driver's license restriction limiting him to driving in daytime hours.

Eastbound lanes of I-40 were shut down for a while after the wreck.


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  • oleguy Feb 22, 2010

    I 40 and 440 should be retermed , Speed limit should be 50 MPH and inforced. Other states have set up Safety Zones, Conjestive Zones and set the limit at 50 mph... All trucks right lane...
    If I 40 and 440 were this way there would be a lot less accidents, and Rush Hour traffic speeds would actually increase,
    Think about it...

  • Common Sense Man Feb 22, 2010

    "Since there is no minimum speed limit sign posted I doubt this will stick."

    The driver was charged under another law. It will definitely stick. You can't go 10 MPH on a interstate.

  • wwwalker Feb 22, 2010

    anonemoose, it's not in there. I don't remember saying it is.

  • anonemoose Feb 22, 2010

    Dog Deep and walker, can you give me the statute number for having to stay in the right lane. I've read chapter 20 many times and can't find that one.

  • Plum Tuckered Feb 22, 2010

    "Berry, I'm the one on the white motorcycle that passes everybody and drops in at the last second every morning, except when it's snowing."

    /angrily shakes fist in air

    And stay offa my lawn, too! Gol-darn kids.

  • wwwalker Feb 22, 2010

    "As far as multiple lanes how about the possibility that someone's speedometer might be 'off' just a little and they are traveling at a different speed? Why would anyone EVER need to pass if everybody is driving the same exact speed?"

    I still don't think you understood what I said about volume. Volume in this case refers to the amount of vehicles on the road. You can fit more cars on a 3 lane road than a 1 lane road. A single-file line of traffic 3 miles long can be shortened to 1 mile long with two additional lanes. You can then put 6 more "miles" of single-file traffic behind those first 3 miles. I'm pretty sure this is the reason for having multiple lanes, not to have multiple speeds.

    Is it the way I'm explaining it?

    Try these...
    -3 lanes are more than 1 lane
    -3 lanes are greater than 1 lane
    -3 lanes > 1 lane
    -3 is bigger than 1

    Why is this concept so difficult to understand?

  • wwwalker Feb 22, 2010

    3. I'm not a control freak. I just think everyone should be held accountable to the same standards as I am. I've had speeding tickets, and learned from them. I've also seen the carnage in the aftermath of high speed accidents. I want to emphasize the “s” in accidents. I’ve seen more than a few. If you see a couple of bad wrecks you'll realize speed limits serve a purpose. They're there to protect yourself and others. Speeding is essentially gambling with people's lives and you think I should just have a live and let live attitude about it. I disagree with you there.

    Furthermore, I don’t agree that driving the speed limit in the left-hand lane is “just as rude” as tailgating. They are two totally different things. One is legal, the other is not. Can you figure out which is which?

  • wwwalker Feb 22, 2010

    Well, you've given me a pretty extensive list. I thought we covered all these points, but I'll say it again.

    1. I don't know if there's a minimum limit sign there. If not, as common sense pointed out, then the minimum speeds do not apply. If you read my previous post, I agree that this guy deserved a ticket. He is obviously an outlier.

    2. If your speedometer is broke, get it fixed. If it's off more than 5 mph or so, it should be pretty clear. If it's off, compensate for the difference or get it fixed. I can't keep up with your vehicle maintenance. Yes, I do believe that if everyone obeyed the posted speed limit then there wouldn’t' be any reason to pass anyone, but we don't live in a perfect world, do we?

  • scarletindurham Feb 22, 2010

    Since there is no minimum speed limit sign posted I doubt this will stick.

    I strongly think that after a certain age, everyone should be required to re-take their drivers test.

  • mpheels Feb 22, 2010

    gov watchdog, I don't disagree at all, but it's not the fault of the federal government that NC sets the speed limit at 65 in this area. In rural NC the speed limit on controlled access highways is often 70 mph (which translates more or less to 80 mph based on enforcement patterns).