By Paul T. Choate
Oct. 2, 2012. According to the State Highway Patrol office in Hudson, a fatality occurred at around 4:30 a.m. on Old U.S. 421 near the Brown Farm Road intersection.
The deceased has been identified by Highway Patrol as David Lee Cook, 55, a N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) worker who resided in Boone.
The accident comes just a day after a new version of the state’s Move Over law went into effect on Oct. 1, requiring motorists to change lanes or slow down to avoid roadside utility and maintenance crews.
Watauga Medics received the call at 4:39 a.m. according to Director Craig Sullivan. He said Cook was working to clear a tree off the road that had fallen during the storms last night and was struck by a vehicle.
Robert Alan Schaffer, of Deep Gap, has been identified as the driver of the vehicle that struck Cook. He was driving a Toyota truck and also hit the NCDOT vehicle after hitting Cook.
In addition to Highway Patrol and Watauga Medics, the Deep Gap Fire Department was called to the scene and had to block the road off. Sullivan added that a co-worker of the deceased was also at the scene.
Trooper Randall Townsend is the lead investigator of the incident. No formal charges have been made at this point, and Highway Patrol said it may be a day or two before any charges, if any, will be made.