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Overturned truck closes parkway

March 18, 2011

A portion of McDonald Parkway was closed when a truck overturned from a mechanical malfunction during a Friday-morning commute.

No one was injured in the crash, but officers closed the roadway for several hours as the North Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the incident.

UPS truck driver Daniel Stidham, 52, of Tennessee, was turning left on McDonald Parkway in Hickory about 8 a.m. when his vehicle had a mechanical failure, said Hickory Police Sgt. C. Anderson. The malfunction caused the truck to flip during the left turn, sending the truck into a guard rail and a power pole.

The truck came to rest on its passenger side near the Interstate 40 overpass, just feet from falling over the bridge.

Stidham wasn't injured in the crash. Police said the downed power lines weren't likely to cause any power outages for Hickory residents or businesses.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol investigators were on the scene of the crash to determine whether mechanical failure caused the crash. The truck was intertwined in power lines, and public works crews had to cut away the lines before towing it away.

About 10 officers from Hickory Police and NCSHP were on the scene, as well as other public works crews from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

As crews worked to clear the scene, McDonald Parkway from westbound exit 126 to the intersection of U.S. 70 was closed to traffic. Hickory Police officers stationed at the closures directed drivers to make U-turns on the parkway or detours on the interstate.

Anderson said neither alcohol nor speed appear to be factors in the crash. Officers on the scene said Stidham was lucky the truck stopped short before crashing over the bridge into oncoming traffic below.

"That would have been a bad deal," Anderson said.

Stidham will be charged with a violation for driving with faulty equipment. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.
McDonald Parkway was reopened Friday at 11:15 p.m.

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