NAKINA — A Clarkton truck driver was killed Wednesday night when the tanker he was driving lost control near Nakina in a dangerous section of road with an “S” curve.
Albert Christopher Settlemeyer, 39, ran off the road on N.C. 905 near Nakina shortly after 9 p.m., according to Trooper Mark Gore of the Highway Patrol.
Settlemeyer was driving an tractor-trailer tanker truck owned by Reliable Tank Line, a Winston-Salem company. The vehicle was a fully loaded witih fuel.
The southbound truck ran off the road on the right, hit a ditch and utility pole, overturned and caught on fire. According to the News Reporter of Whiteville, witnesses heard a loud explosion and saw a large fireball. At least one bystander attempted to approach the scene but could get no closer than 100 yards because of the heat and downed lines. The bystander reported flames reaching higher than the surrounding trees.
Emergency crews from across southern Columbus County responded, including a hazardous materials team and electric units.
The curve is known to locals as “Dead Man’s Curve” because of the high number of fatal wrecks in that stretch of highway.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.