Highway 17 Fatal Accident Has Many Questioning Safety Of Road

A deadly wreck Friday has spurred debate over the potential dangers of heavily traveled two lane highways.

Plans to widen Highway 17 in Craven County are already underway, but a crash Friday afternoon involving a log truck that killed an 85 year old man has many we spoke with asking them to speed things up.

Troopers with the State Highway Patrol say that despite the available room for correcting a vehicle, two lane roads are not generally more dangerous when compared to four or six lane roads.

85 year old Laster Baker was killed Friday when troopers say a log truck slammed into his car as he backed out of his driveway onto US 17.

Troopers say while fatal wrecks are certainly tragedies, they come down to driver error and many times complacency.

22 fatal wrecks were recorded in 2009 in Craven County, 3 were on Highway 17.

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An elderly Craven County man was killed after troopers say he pulled out of his driveway in the path on an oncoming log truck.

It happened around 3:00 p.m. on Highway 17, near the intersection of Weyerhauerser Road.

Dead is 85-year-old Laster Baker.

Highway 17 was closed for almost three hours because of the crash as crews worked to unload logs from the truck so it could be moved.

Troopers say the log truck driver received minor injuries. They say the log truck driver tried to avoid the crash and his rig ended up hitting a tree.


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The Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal accident in Craven County that has closed Highway 17.

The crash involved a passenger vehicle and a log truck and happened at the intersection of Weyerhaeuser Road.

The driver of the passenger car was killed. It appears the log truck struck the car at the driver's door.

There is no word on just how long the highway will remain closed.

Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more on this developing story.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kaye Location: Chocowinity on Apr 6, 2010 at 05:27 AM
    That highway is very dangerous and I think we'll all be glad when it is made safer. My thoughts & prayers to the family for your loss. Losing a loved one is never easy, but hold onto all the great memories and legacy he left behind. My prayers also go out to the driver of the truck because he has experienced a tragedy as well and his life will never be the same.
  • by Joan Location: Beulaville on Apr 5, 2010 at 06:59 AM
    Uncle Laster was a wonderful man. He was a WWII vet and worked with the forest service for many years. So sad that he is no longer with us. Prayers to family and the driver of the log truck. He was a great brother and friend to my Mom. He is dearly missed already. Can't imagine our family without him.
  • by David Location: Chocowinity on Apr 4, 2010 at 04:28 PM
    I worked with Laster for many years. He was a wonderful and kind man. We should all thank him for his service to the State as a Ranger. Baker just made a bad mistake that we all may do one day. You will be missed ole buddy.
  • by southerngal Location: eastern nc on Apr 3, 2010 at 06:03 PM
    I think everybody is taking Jack's post the wrong way because he never said that Mr.Baker was in a hurry. Jack was asking in general if people was in that big of a hurry that everyday you can see people pulling out in front of these trucks like they can stop on a dime. I do not think that he was being negative toward Mr.Baker so maybe you should reread the post a couple of times before commented back.
  • by Matt Location: Grifton on Apr 3, 2010 at 04:33 PM
    Hey Jack, how about you watch what you say when family members get up here and read the terrible things that people like you put up here. Maybe you should be a little more patient when you right things that can really hurt someone. Mr. Laster, Thank you for creating a family that has touched my heart and has brought me a beautiful family of my own. I am so happy that we named our son Laster John. You will be missed!
  • by heather Location: grifton on Apr 3, 2010 at 04:18 PM
    I am so glad that Grandaddy got to meet little Laster the newest great grandchild on Monday of this week. We have precious pictures for his name sake to remember him by. Grandaddy is where he has always wanted to be now, with Grandma Baker. God bless the truck driver for doing his best to avoid the accident, you are in my prayers.
  • by Lori Location: Beulaville on Apr 3, 2010 at 01:02 PM
    We are very sad for the family at this time and hope they know our prayers are with them....How heartbreaking this must be... I hope they realize how gracious God was to let him go quickly and he didn't suffer long term....God Bless the family...And let Mr Laster go rest high on that mountain...
  • by April Location: Darlington, SC on Apr 3, 2010 at 09:03 AM
    Uncle Laster will be dearly missed and I know for a fact that he was not in a hurry. People need to know the facts before commenting on stories that do not involve them. His family does not need negative comments at a time like this. Lots of love to and prayers to all involved.
  • by chucknorris Location: nc on Apr 3, 2010 at 06:02 AM
    Very sad thing to happen, I am sure the truck driver feels just as terrible because of the accident.
  • by randall Location: pink hill on Apr 2, 2010 at 08:31 PM
    Gonna Miss you Uncle Laster.......Thinking of my dear cousins and my Mom at this time......
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