North Carolina man is killed on Interstate 81

April 17, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

WILLIAMSPORT - A North Carolina man was killed Wednesday afternoon when a tractor-trailer ran off the right side of northbound Interstate 81, hitting him as he stood by the driver's door of his car while his wife was behind the wheel.

Wade Andrew Sexton, 76, of 2188 Old Marshall Highway in Alexander, N.C., died at the scene, said Trooper 1st Class P.A. Martin, lead investigator on the accident.

Martin said Sexton's wife, Pearl, also 76, apparently had pulled off to the side of the road at around 2:30 p.m. Her husband had walked around to the driver's side of the Honda Accord to take his turn driving the car, police said.


Sgt. Steve McCarty also was at the scene.

"The truck was clearly a good 3 feet off the traveled portion" when the collision occurred, he said.

The man was propelled approximately 100 feet through the air. His shoes were left in the roadway where he had been standing, McCarty said.

The truck driver, Charles Pelletier, 33, of Quebec, Canada, didn't speak English, McCarty said. An interpreter was summoned to the scene to assist McCarty and Martin with the investigation.

"The trucker had his young son with him when this happened and he was very upset," McCarty said. The truck was partially loaded with plastic containers.

Martin charged Pelletier with negligent driving and failure to obey lane markings.

Pearl Sexton was taken to Washington County Hospital for emotional distress, Martin said. She was waiting Wednesday night for family members to arrive in Hagerstown.

The car was heavily damaged on the driver's side but she apparently was not injured, troopers said.

Reduced to one lane, northbound traffic was backed to the Falling Waters, W.Va., interchange and beyond for more than an hour while the scene was being investigated and emergency equipment was on the scene.

The death is the 10th traffic fatality in Washington County in 2003.

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