The North Carolina Highway Patrol said that a 74-year-old man from Sampson County suffered fatal personal injuries on the morning of December 5 after he swerved into oncoming traffic and his pickup truck overturned near Clinton.


According to Trooper J.L. Murphy, Newton Grove resident Gene Sherwood West was southbound in a 2008 Ford F-150 around 8 a.m. on U.S. 701 near Weeks Road when he entered the northbound lane and sideswiped an oncoming vehicle.


The collision caused West to lose control of the vehicle, which ran into a ditch on the left side of the road and overturned, partially ejecting him.


Murphy said that West had already died by the time emergency crews arrived at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt and the reason he drove into oncoming traffic was unclear.


The driver of the other vehicle, 19-year-old Elizabethtown resident Justin Blake Pittman, was unharmed.

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