Local News

Driver charged in fatal NC-540 wreck

Posted March 31, 2016 7:42 a.m. EDT
Updated March 31, 2016 4:53 p.m. EDT

— One person died Thursday morning when a work truck struck a median on NC-540, caught fire and crashed into a creek off the highway, officials said.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said five people were in the vehicle when it struck the median near Green Level West Road in western Wake County. The single-vehicle accident closed northbound lanes for about 6 hours Thursday morning.

Rescue workers had to use fire department bucket trucks and ladders to lift the victims out.

Environmental crews were called to the scene Thursday afternoon to clean up fuel that spilled into White Oak Creek.

All five people in the truck were employees with Greenscape Inc. in Holly Springs, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

The deceased passenger was identified Thursday afternoon as Andrew Johnstone, 60, of Durham.

"Right now our thoughts and concerns are with our employees and their families. We are focused on insuring they have the best care in their recovery," said Greenscape Landscaping spokeswoman Tina Czysz.

The four surviving occupants of the vehicle were injured and taken to WakeMed and Duke University Medical Center for treatment, but the extent of their injuries and their identities were not released.

The driver of the truck, Gerardo Daniel Pacheco Gonzalez, 22, of Raleigh, was charged with failure to maintain lane control and misdemeanor death by vehicle.