1 dead in Gaston County wreck

A 72-year-old Bessemer City man was killed early Thursday when his vehicle slammed into a tractor-trailer in Gastonia, police said.

The victim was identified as William Wade Ledwell. The collision was reported about 3 a.m. at the intersection of Bessemer City Road and Oates Road, near Dallas-Bessemer City Highway (N.C. 275). That is at the northwest edge of Gastonia, near Bessemer City.

Police said a 48-year-old man driving a tractor-trailer was turning left from Dallas-Bessemer City Highway onto Bessemer City Road. Investigators said a 2009 Toyota RAV4 being driven by Ledwell slammed into the truck.

Gastonia police Sgt. K.C. McCabe said it appeared Ledwell was speeding before the collision, and McCabe said speed was a contributing factor in the collision.

Police ask that anyone with information about the collision contact detectives at 704-842-5137.