Truck overturns Monday morning, driver charged

Published 6:33 pm Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday morning, authorities responded to an overturned logging truck on North Carolina Highway 171, north of Washington.

The driver, Ralph Belue, 58, of Greenville, was charged with exceeding a safe speed for existing conditions, according to Trooper Beau Daniel, with the N.C. Highway State Patrol.

Cordon Trucking Inc. of Washington owns the truck.

Belue sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. Daniel said he was coherent at the scene of the accident. Belue was transported to Vidant Beaufort Hospital and then later transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

According to Daniel, Belue went around a curve, losing control of the truck, running into a ditch and striking a power pole before overturning. Daniel said Washington Utilities estimates there to be $2,000 of damage.

Diesel fuel spilled in the roadway, as well, according to Daniel.

“The entire trailer was damaged,” he said. “The entire left side of the truck was damaged.”

Although 911 dispatchers expressed concern that Belue was potentially trapped in the truck, Daniel said he could not confirm that this was the case.

N.C. 171 near Market Street Extension remained closed off for several hours while authorities cleared the scene.

Along with the Highway Patrol, Washington Fire-EMS-Rescue and Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene.

Daniel said the type of charges Belue faces usually involves a set fine, plus court costs. It would qualify as an infraction.