Authorities said Trooper C.V. Barrett was trying to catch a speeder in the Moore County town of Pinebluff when he collided with an innocent bystander, 47 year old Randall Spink. Spink was killed in the wreck.
Investigators spent Friday reconstructing the accident. Witnesses said Spink was at a convenience store shortly before the fatal collision, visiting friends like Serena Ewing on his day off.
"He was real sweet and I told him, 'Get off my floor,' you know, because it was wet and I was mopping and he walked out," said Ewing.
Spink got in his car and pulled into the road. A split second later, the trooper crashed into him.
"I just (saw) the state trooper's car pushing something and a bunch of smoke come up," said Ewing.
Both cars ended up in oncoming traffic. The impact was so hard that golf balls in Spink's car landed near Quentin McLean's workplace.
"I never seen nothing like it before in my life," said McLean. "It ... didn't look real."
McLean ran to help Barrett.
"He kept telling me to go help the other person, and he just insisted on me going to help the other person," said McLean. "He was more concerned about the other person than he was (himself)."
Barrett ended up in the hospital with a minor leg injury. Authorities said he is free to return to work when he heals. Unlike shooting cases, the trooper isn't suspended during the investigation.
Thursday's collision is the third accident involving law enforcement officers in the past 10 days. Alecyn E. Ross, 39, was driving a stolen vehicle and being followed by Raleigh police and the state Highway Patrol when S3he hit a utility pole. Ross died in the accident.
Another crash involving the Highway Patrol occurred near RDU International. A trooper was involved in a chase when the vehicle he was chasing hit a garbage truck. One person died in the accident and two others were injured.
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