UPDATE: Men in Pics Ruled Out As Suspects In Deputy Hit And Run

The Highway Patrol says they have identified two people that may have been connected toTuesday's hit and run involving a deputy sheriff and says they have been ruled out as suspects.

Deputy Matthew Howell had surgery on his legs yesterday at Vidant Medical Center.

The Carteret County deputy was injured on Highway 70 when he swerved to avoid a pickup truck that pulled in front of his cruiser.

The two people in the photos released by troopers are not involved in the crash, according to Highway Patrol.

The Investigation Continues.

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The Highway Patrol said a Carteret County deputy had to be flown to Vidant Medical Center after he swerved to avoid a wreck and his patrol car flipped into a ditch. Now they're looking for the truck they say caused the "hit and run."

Troopers said around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, they were called to Highway 70 near Nine Foot Road.

They say Deputy Matthew Howell had his blue lights on, heading west when a burgundy or maroon Chevy truck swerved in front of him.

Investigators said Deputy Howell swerved to avoid colliding with the truck, but he overturned during the maneuver and his patrol car flipped into a ditch.

Deputy Howell was alert when emergency workers got the the scene, according to troopers, but he was flown to Vidant.

Sheriff Asa Buck says Howell suffered some broken bones in the crash. He is in fair condition, according to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

He says Howell was on an emergency call with his blue lights on when he approached two trucks in the right lane of the four-lane highway. The truck immediately in front of the deputy slowed and got out of the way, but the second one pulled in front of the cruiser.

The deputy swerved to avoid the collision, according to the sheriff.

The driver of the truck that got out of the way says he saw the other truck hit the brakes, and then "gun it".

Buck says the vehicle is a early 2000's model Chevrolet pickup truck two-toned, maroon or burgundy on top with a silver or tan bottom. It has two stickers on the tailgate, one with OBX and the other a bullet holes stickers.

It is believed the pickup has North Carolina tags.

Anyone with information about the vehicle or who may have witnessed the collision is requested to contact Trooper S. J. Powell at the Highway Patrol Office in Carteret County at 252 726-5766 or the Carteret County Sherriff’s Office at 252-504-4800.