WENDELL — A tractor-trailer driver died Monday when a flatbed truck crashed and rolled over on westbound U.S. 64/ 264 between Edgemont and Rolesville roads, the State Highway Patrol said.
The driver was identified as Robert Earl Faison, 61, of 7916 New Sandy Hill Church Road in Bailey. Troopers said he was driving a truck from Stock Building Supply in Raleigh, loaded with roof trusses.
The accident happened shortly before 8 a.m. First Sgt. Jeff Gordon said the truck ran off the right shoulder, struck a series of trees and then overturned, spilling its load and pinning the driver in the truck’s cab. Faison was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gordon said it was not raining at the time of the accident, although the pavement was damp, and that speed and alcohol were not factors. No other vehicles were involved.
It remained unclear as of Monday afternoon what caused the truck to run off the highway.
“You always have to think could the driver have fallen asleep,” Gordon said. “That’s always a possibility. We may not find an answer for what caused him to run off onto the shoulder.”
U.S. 64 was narrowed to one lane for several hours while crews worked to clean up the scattered lumber and remove the truck.
By noon, the cab of the truck had been towed away and crews were working to free tree limbs from the underside of the trailer.
Westbound traffic remained backed up as far east as Zebulon, where another accident had occurred by 12:30 p.m.