NEW INFO: Highway Reopens After Tanker Overturns

A major highway in Pamlico County is open to traffic once again after an overturned tanker truck shut it down for most of the morning.

The accident happened east of Olympia Road near Reelsboro. The truck from Eastern Propane of Bayboro was 80% full. A second tanker had to be brought in to transfer the propane before the truck could be uprighted and towed away.

The highway reopened around 1:30 p.m.

The driver, 40 year old James Simmons of New Bern, was transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center and later released. Troopers say the driver has been charged with an unsafe movement violation.


Previous Story

An overturned fuel truck has closed down Highway 55 in Pamlico County and nearby homes are being evacuated.

The accident happened east of Olympia Road near Reelsboro, with both lanes closed down. The DOT says they expect the highway to reopen this afternoon.

Troopers say the tanker is from Eastern Propane of Bayboro. They say the propane is not leaking, but homes within a half-mile are being evacuated as a safety precaution.

The Highway Patrol says the tanker must be emptied before they're able to put it back upright.

A detour has been set up. For those traveling east they should turn onto Olympia Road to Walker Road into Beaufort County to Highway 306. Drivers should then take Highway 306 south back into Pamlico County. Those westbound should take Highway 306, then Walker Road to Olympia Road.

The driver, 40 year old James Simons of New Bern, was transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center. Troopers say charges are pending in the accident.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Rusty on Feb 8, 2012 at 02:06 PM
    Anyone who stopped to help a stranger; is a true Hero. Anytime you put yourself at risk for another; you are a Hero, and you most certainly DO DESERVE A BIG PAT ON THE BACK, AND MANY WORDS OF THANKS.Why shouldn't you come forward, and why shouldn't you be proud of the fact that you were given courage that many would find themselves lacking in the same situation. (I referring to both gentlemen. Maybe one is just more open with the attention than the other would be; he has his reasons.)Sir, in light of this thought, I shall give a quiet "salute" to you, and know that your generiosity was appreciated. (No I am not related to any involved; I just care.)
  • by Blondie on Feb 7, 2012 at 01:15 PM
    Thank you 'SayWhat?!'! That is exactly what I was trying to point out. A real hero is someone who takes pride in knowing that they were able to help someone without receiving a slap on the back and their picture in the paper...with a false story at that.
  • by Blondie on Feb 7, 2012 at 06:30 AM
    Chris, if you're in the business of trying to make a name for yourself you should find another line of work to do it in. Volunteer firefighters are USUALLY just out to help others, not to seek recognition. That being said, I have a great deal of respect for firefighters in general. My grandaddy is on with Reelsboro and I have several friends and other family who volunteers throughout the county. I said it yesterday in a separate post and I'll say it again in this one; I appreciate everything all of you did yesterday and every other day. However, bragging doesn't belong in that organization;especially, when you lie about what it is that you are bragging about! Make no mistake, the man who actually did risk his life to pull that man out of that truck as soon as it came to halt, is NOT looking for recognition. Because he did that without thought, from his heart. Seeking no award or recognition. And I'm more grateful to God than anyone will ever know that they are both (the van driver and the truck driver)alright.
    • reply
      by rusty on Feb 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM in reply to Blondie
      the comment by "annonymus" was the only one I've seen where it said the firefighter kicked in the windshild and pulled the driver out...not the entry by the firefighter. He's still a HERO
  • by Gamer on Feb 7, 2012 at 03:20 AM
    Notice in Mackey comment that he said he made sure the person was ok! No where in his comment did he say he pulled the man out. So the only thing he said he did was turn off the valve and truck.
    • reply
      by SayWhat?! on Feb 7, 2012 at 09:25 AM in reply to Gamer
      In this comment that's what he said. But to the news reporters he said that he kicked in the windshield and pulled the driver out. Sounds like he's trying to cover his tracks to me. Real heros just try to help their fellow man, without looking for 15 minutes of fame! I have the utmost respect for our firefighters and EMS personnel- they are wonderful people who truly do risk their live every time they answer a call. But I have to say that I have never seen any of our local volunteers in the paper or on the news trumpeting their heroisim!
  • by Baffled on Feb 6, 2012 at 07:27 PM
    Being one of the nicest guys doesn't mean he's telling the truth! Firefighter or no firefighter, he can tell a good story! Hopefully the truth will come out...ought to be ashamed.
    • reply
      by DontBeliveWhatI'mReading on Feb 6, 2012 at 08:13 PM in reply to Baffled
      I think it is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS that there is even a question of who did what to save whom here. No matter what caused the accident or who pulled the man from the vehicle, the bottom line is a life was saved today by someone who was selfless.The only people who should be ashamed are the ones who sit and speculate and tell things they don't know to be the truth. I, too, have family involved in this and am very thankful for the "FIREFIGHTER" who saved the TRUCKDRIVER'S life.
      • reply
        by Baffled on Feb 7, 2012 at 05:58 AM in reply to DontBeliveWhatI'mReading
        You're right, the focus should be that a life was saved yesterday. But I have every right(as does any one else) to speculate as to why someone would lie about what they did and gloat about an act that he didn't do. He (Mackey) may have made a contribution in making the area safe and that's all well and good. Risking his life is part of his job, so by all means commend him for risking his life doing his job. But dont forget to mention the other person that risked his life (after his own life was put in danger), the one that is not a firefighter, and the one who's job is not to act courageous in a situtation like that. Which is also the one that is not out seeking recognition for what he did. I am thankful for the "AVERAGE MAN" (who is nothing less than a wonderful honest man) who saved the "TRUCKDRIVER'S" life, and thankful for anyone else that may have been on the scene and did their job making it safe for everybody that was involved and everyone that lives in that area.
        • reply
          by Baffled on Feb 7, 2012 at 07:12 AM in reply to Baffled
          ..and I do know it to be the TRUTH..no speculation about it
  • by Christopher Mackey Location: United States on Feb 6, 2012 at 07:10 PM
    thanks daniel and i am the fir fighter first on scene and i did make sure the man was ok before i risked my life to go turn the trucks fuel valve off and the engine to save the other around not just him but the whole community it was spraying fuel and the truck was in gear so blondie i am a hero
    • reply
      by Jessica on Feb 6, 2012 at 07:40 PM in reply to Christopher Mackey
      A TRUE hero doesn't look to be recognized nor called themselves a hero. They find peace knowing what they did and who they helped....I do not like when people do a good thing but then want to brag and gloat... People should be better than that, a hero is...
  • by Blondie on Feb 6, 2012 at 06:49 PM
    The van driver did ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong. He was turning off of the road and the truck driver wasn't paying close enough attention to the road. And as for the firefighter being awarded...ha! I know a lot of people who deserve awards. This guy is not one of them. I would like for him to explain to me just how he managed to get that man out of his truck when my daddy had already gotten him out before anyone else even got there! A true hero is one who doesn't seek recognition, but simply has a big heart and a strong will to help others. So you tell me who's the hero.
  • by Gamer on Feb 6, 2012 at 05:24 PM
    Seems like we need to get an interview with the driver of the propane tanker. I want to know what really happened and what about the driver of the van?
    • reply
      by ??????? on Feb 6, 2012 at 06:04 PM in reply to Gamer
      Yea, what about the van? What did he do wrong that the truck driver had to try to avoid it?
    • reply
      by #@!%^& on Feb 6, 2012 at 06:07 PM in reply to Gamer
      What about that van?
  • by Jim Bob Location: Kinston on Feb 6, 2012 at 01:21 PM
    After riding one of these bombs for 15 years I can say they're as safe as any other vehicle if operated correctly. According to "Anonymous" a fireman had to shut off the safety valve on the truck. That safety valve was supposed to shut already. The driver is supposed to shut that valve anytime the truck is moved...after every stop when traveling to the next stop. Some don't because it's aggravating having to open it everytime you get to a stop. Apparently this was one of THOSE drivers. Be interesting to know if he keeps his job.
    • reply
      by Rusty on Feb 8, 2012 at 01:56 PM in reply to Jim Bob
      Do I hear OSHA calling? This could be even more expensive than dealing with the insurance companies, and medical,court costs, tickets, etc. ♀
  • by Pete Location: Grifton on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:24 AM
    I give those rolling bombs plenty of room.I feel sorry for anyone driving one.
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