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Newly appointed North Carolina official killed in truck accident

A 68-year-old man was killed after his car collided with a semi-truck. The accident occurred several days after the victim was appointed interim manager for a North Carolina county, leaving officials uncertain regarding his replacement. Troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol said the accident occurred at approximately 5:41 p.m.

The fatal truck accident reportedly occurred when the victim struck a tractor-trailer that had begun to pull out of a private drive. The cab of the truck had already entered the roadway's westbound lane, but its trailer was still blocking the eastbound lane in which the victim's sedan was traveling. According to the official police report of the crash, neither the truck's 22-year-old driver nor his 36-year-old passenger were hurt in the collision. The interim manager was pronounced dead at the scene soon after emergency workers responded to the crash.

The victim served as an official with several North Carolina counties and was a senior adviser to the International County Manager Association. He died several days before he would have celebrated his 69th birthday.

Although no party involved in the crash currently faces criminal charges, this does not protect the truck driver from the possibility of being found liable for the accident in a wrongful death lawsuit. The family of the victim could file such a claim against the driver, accusing him of negligence that led to the death of their loved one. If successful, such a lawsuit would entitle the plaintiffs to monetary damages compensating them for the pain and suffering caused by their loss as well as funeral costs and other related expenses.

Source: Fay Observer, "Interim Moore County manager Westbrook killed in traffic accident," Nancy McCleary, Nov. 29, 2012

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