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Unsecured items in trailer lead to fatal pedestrian accident on U.S. 52 in Forsyth County

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- A man was killed and another was injured when they were hit by a tractor-trailer while picking up fallen debris on a highway in Forsyth County on Friday night, according to Highway Patrol.

Troopers confirmed James Wilson was the man who died. George Hall was injured.

The crash happened around 7:30 p.m. on northbound U.S. 52 near Exit 120 for Westinghouse Road.

Troopers said two people were picking up debris on the highway that had fallen off their trailer when they were hit by an 18-wheeler.

“It’s tragic all the way around,” Trooper Ned Moultrie said.

He explained that these situations are far too common for their troopers.

Crash statistics from the state show that there have been 2,595 crashes due to debris in the road between 2012-2016.

Out of those crashes, 14 people have died and 705 people have been injured.

“The best practice is to make sure we don’t put those items in the road in the first place,” Moultrie said.

He said state laws make it a crime to drive with non-secured items in your vehicle; items that are not strapped down, that could shift or even fall off as you drive down the road.

In regards to Friday’s incident, he explained that if you do see something in the road, do not try and remove it yourself.

If you do, you could make things worse. The only right thing to do is to contact authorities to come and remove it.

“You have to understand, it’s a danger for everyone,” Moultrie said. “Some situations, it may require several law enforcement officers to gather to take that lane and retrieve those items.”

At this time the driver of the 18-wheeler will not face charges.

Hall was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in critical condition.

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