Charges pending against truck driver in fatal Friday wreck

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Steve Huffman
GOLD HILL ó Charges are pending against the driver of a dump truck involved in an accident Friday in which a local teacher died.
Marilyn Webb, 50, a sixth-grade science and social studies teacher at Southeast Middle School, died in the accident that happened about 6:30 a.m. on U.S. 52 near Gold Hill. She lived in Albemarle.
According to the N.C. Highway Patrol, Jimmy DeWayne Weatherholt, 39, of New London, was driving a 2003 Mack truck that crossed the center line and collided with Webb’s car.
The trooper’s report indicated Webb was traveling north and Weatherholt south. Cars ahead of Weatherholt in the southbound lane had stopped, and Weatherholt ó apparently momentarily distracted ó attempted to avoid them by swerving into the northbound lane.
“He subsequently collided with” (Webb’s vehicle), read a narrative of the accident supplied by the Highway Patrol.
An investigation of the accident continued Monday.
The truck that Weatherholt was driving belonged to Paul M. Bost Trucking in Rockwell. Terri Bost is the company’s president and co-owns the business with her husband, David.
“Our hearts, our thoughts and our sympathies are truly with the Webb family,” Bost said Monday, fighting tears as she spoke. “Her family and close friends have been in our prayers.”
She said Weatherholt was devastated by the accident. Bost said Weatherholt has driven for the company for eight years and had experience as a truck driver prior to that.
He’s a professional in every sense, Bost said.
“He’s a good person,” she said. “It was a human error ó a quick, fatal mistake.”
Bost said the company’s trucks are top of the line, all well maintained. She said the company strives to keep its trucks safe.
There have apparently been a pair of other fatal accidents involving trucks in recent years along U.S. 52 in the vicinity of the site of Friday’s accident.
Only one of those accidents involved a truck belonging to Bost Trucking, and in neither of the accidents was the truck driver responsible.
In May 2005, an elderly man died after pulling in front of a tractor-trailer belonging to Bost Trucking. The accident happened at the intersection of U.S. 52 and Doby Road.
Last December, a Gold Hill woman died when her minivan slammed into the back of a truck hauling gravel. The accident happened on U.S. 52 just east of Gold Hill. The truck involved in that accident belonged to Sheldon Murdock, which is based in Statesville.
The funeral for Webb was Monday.
Staff writer Ronnie Gallagher contributed to this article.