A Union County sheriff’s deputy was killed Wednesday morning when a tractor-trailer overturned onto the deputy’s car on U.S. 74 in Monroe, authorities said.
The identity of the deputy has not been released by the sheriff’s office.
The crash was reported shortly after 7 a.m. on westbound U.S. 74 at Sutherland Avenue, near Carolinas Medical Center-Union. According to authorities, a tractor-trailer collided with the back of a tanker truck and overturned, landing on the patrol car.
It appears as if the deputy’s car was in the left turn lane on westbound U.S. 74, waiting to turn onto Sutherland Avenue toward the hospital.
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The N.C. Highway Patrol brought a special accident reconstruction team to the scene via helicopter, while dozens of Monroe police, sheriff’s deputies and Highway Patrol troopers spent several hours at the site of the wreck. U.S. 74 was closed, and traffic on the heavily traveled route was detoured through downtown Monroe.
The tanker truck, which did not suffer significant damage, pulled away from the wreck scene about 10:45 a.m. A short time later, an ambulance arrived to remove the body of the deputy from the patrol car, which was still partially covered by the tractor-trailer.
Crews began the process of removing the tractor-trailer shortly before noon.
The sheriff’s office said it hopes to release more information later Wednesday afternoon. In the meantime, flags were flying at half-staff across Union County.
The N.C. Department of Transportation is recommending that motorists avoid the area. N.C. 218, which runs from Mint Hill to western Anson County through northern Union County, would be a good alternate route for motorists who do not plan to stop in Monroe.
OBSERVER PHOTOJOURNALIST DAVIE HINSHAW CONTRIBUTED.