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Wayne County trooper injured in U.S. 70 collision

Posted May 12

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— A Wayne County trooper was injured Thursday afternoon after a collision on U.S. Highway 70, officials said.

Troopers with the State Highway Patrol were responding to a reported call of a person walking along Hood Swamp Road and pointing a weapon at about 3:45 p.m.

Authorities said troopers drove onto an unopened portion of U.S. 70 east in an attempt to quickly intercept the person and encountered a Barnhill Company contract worker on a tractor with a front broom sweeper as they approached the Hare Road overpass.

As the trooper approached, the two vehicles collided.

"I heard tires screeching, like somebody slamming on the brakes," said Ben Jones. "[I] got up, put my shoes on, come out, and I saw a gentleman get up from the road on the tractor and a guy getting out of the car."

Neighbors said it's not uncommon for law enforcement to use the unopened section of the U.S. 70 bypass.

"I've seen law enforcement, sheriff and state both use it, but they're usually going pretty slow," said Ben Jones.

The tractor driver, identified as Jimmy Reid, 53, of Tarboro, and the trooper, identified as Reggie Edwards, were taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Both had been released Thursday night.

"They were trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible," said Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Gordon. "That time of day, around 4 p.m. here in Wayne County, you try to expedite and get around traffic."

The incident is under investigation, troopers said.

3 Comments

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  • Joey Cuddington May 13, 3:27 p.m.
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    Just WHO do you think has been patroling and watching over all the construction equipment along that "unopened" stretch of highway .... of course they've been using it!!! The trooper just made the mistake of thinking the tractor operator heard him.....

  • Lee Howell May 13, 1:19 p.m.
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    Glad they are both ok. On a side note, I wonder if the Trooper will be charged with failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision!?

  • Sean Creasy May 13, 7:05 a.m.
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    Authorities said troopers drove onto an unopened portion of U.S. 70 east
    Read more at http://www.wral.com/wayne-county-trooper-injured-in-u-s-70-collision/15700771/#ExoosKBgIBEGwLiU.99... Once again it seems there's two sets of laws here in NC, one set for law enforcement and another set for the rest of us....