ELLERBE — The southbound U.S. 220 exit ramp was temporarily blocked Tuesday afternoon after truck carrying logs to a South Carolina paper mill overturned.
The truck was turning right when it spilled its payload down the sloping grass inside the exit ramp, stopping at a patch of trees across from The Berry Patch.
The driver, Vincent Locklear of Raeford, was not injured and was walking freely with first responders at the scene. Locklear said he didn’t have any idea what caused the truck to turn over.
“I geared down like a regular turn and it just tipped over like there was something wrong with the trailer,” he said, adding that he wasn’t speeding. He also described feeling the front left of the cabin drop down as if he blew a tire, though the tire did not appear to be flat. The straps holding the logs down had snapped, but it’s unclear at what point in the wreck that occurred.
Locklear was hauling the logs to Domtar paper mill in Bennettsville, South Carolina, from Troy. He said he wasn’t sure how big the load was and that his boss would come to pick up the spilled cargo.
The exit ramp was blocked off for several hours but highway traffic was not impeded.
Ronnie McLaughlin, deputy chief of the Ellerbe Fire Department, said the truck had spilled about eight gallons of fuel before they arrived and that they had to apply “stop leak” to the outside of the tank.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck. The Daily Journal will update this story as more information becomes available.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]