NEW INFO: Charges Brought After Deputy Slams Into Cotton Picker

A Jones County farm worker has been charged after a deputy sheriff slammed into the back of his cotton picker Wednesday night. That same deputy was injured the night before in a police chase.

Marcial Chavez charged with violation of moving farm equipment outside the legal size limit after dark. State troopers say farm equipment can not be on state highways after sunset. The accident happened at 8:26 p.m.

Deputy Kevin Lundsford was injured after his patrol car crashed into the back of the cotton picker. That farm equipment was headed west on Highway 41 near Alonza Mills Road.

The night before the same deputy was injured during a chase and subsequent arrest of a drug suspect. In that case Lundsford was injured by another deputy's tactical baton.

In Wednesday night's mishap, the deputy suffered cuts to the head, but he is now at home resting.

The owner says there was $12,000 damage to the John Deere cotton picker while the deputy's cruiser sustained heavy damage in the crash.

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Highway Patrol in Jones County say a Jones County Deputy was injured when his patrol car crashed into the back of a combine, which is a large piece of farm equipment.

Sergeant Tim Sinclair with the Highway Patrol says the combine was headed west on Highway 41 near Alonza Mills Road. The deputy was driving behind him when he crashed into the back of the combine.

The deputy, who's name has not been released yet suffered cuts to the head, but Sergeant Sinclair says his injuries are not life-threatening.

Sergeant Sinclair says the driver of the combine will face charges because the equipment should not have been on the road after sunset.

This is the second high profile crash with farm equipment in the East in recent months. Matthew Hales died on Highway 264, just west of Greenville, when he rear-ended a slow-moving tractor. The 27-year-old father of two was going about 70 miles per hour, which is the posted speed limit in the area, but the tractor was going 25 miles per hour. Troopers said the tractor was on the highway illegally, but no charges were filed.

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011 at 01:27 PM
    has anyone questioned why this officer was driving the day after getting knocked in the head? perhaps he couldnt see clearly. makes me have questions about his ability to be driving that night.
  • by Local Location: Lenoir County on Oct 19, 2011 at 08:56 PM
    Several comments have been left stating that the combine DID have its lights on which is TRUE. To not see a combine lit up like a CHRISTMAS TREE at night must take some serious distraction. I would like some questions raised as to what the deputy was doing to miss this. Perhaps the Sheriff's Department should take a look at his CELL PHONE RECORD, as they would with anyone else involved in an accident. Even if the combine did not have lights on, which it did, the deputy still should have been able to see it in his headlights in time to slow down and not hit it with such impact.
  • by Me Location: Williamston on Oct 12, 2011 at 01:56 PM
    Funny,when my aunt ran into the back of a combine, at night- there were no lights on the combine, she was held liable for the accident. What's the difference? Oh, maybe because she wasn't a deputy?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 19, 2011 at 06:09 AM in reply to Me
      The difference is this is jones co. and there the same laws and rules that apply every where else in the country don't apply. they are corrupt, sick individuals. should the man been out at night, no, but simple traffic laws in the state would still put the blame of the accident on the driver of the car. but again it was jones county. i guess it was the fugitives fault that his partner hit him in the head. This "law" officials in this county disgust me with their behavior.
  • by We Need The Facts on Oct 11, 2011 at 01:28 PM
    Not to point any fingers at the owner of the cotton picker nor at the deputy that were involved in this accident. But to simply state a couple of facts that have been in question. Facts concerning the location in which the accident happened. It has been said that perhaps it was due to a wooded area or curves. The fact is there are not woods for approximately 1/2 mile before the accident. If you are traveling west on Hwy 41(toward Hargett's Crossroads) as both individuals were. The left side of the road is pretty populated with house. The right side has houses but not quiet so many. As for the questions about curves or hills. This is nearly a 2 mile straight away. Warranting wide open spaces. There is one small dip in the road approximately 1/2 mile before the accident location. This is a creek that also includes the woods that were previously mentioned. As for the night in question and the moonlight. It was only one night past the first quarter. Therefore the moon may not have offered either individual any assistance. As for the width of Hwy 41. It is considerably wider than most of the roads in Jones County. No it is not a four lane Hwy but there are A LOT of roads on Jones County that are not as wide as 41. And for the most part there is room on the shoulder to get your vehicle off the road. You may not have more than a foot or two to spare but you can get off the road. So the shoulder are not extremely narrow. Just so everyone knows. I was raised in Jones County and I travel that way quiet frequently to visit my family. Hope this helps to clear some questions.
  • by Native Location: Grantsboro on Oct 11, 2011 at 06:18 AM
    Ha. Was reading some more of the comments, especially the ones that talk about the road being lined with trees and being very dark at night etc. Just found out that the section of this road where the accident happened did not have any trees close to the road so I guess that argument is out the window.
  • by Anonymous Location: Sampson County on Oct 11, 2011 at 05:31 AM
    What if a cow or deere had of been in the road, that shouldn't be there, wouldn't you try to avoid it? I would think if this deputy had of tried to miss that cotton picker he would have swerved to the left instead of a direct impact to the rear!!!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Lenoir County on Oct 10, 2011 at 06:45 PM
    This comment posted on your website about the deputy involved in this accident on the day prior "During the subsequent arrest, one deputy was injured by another deputy's tactical baton". Based on this statement, what type of injury did he receive? Was it to the head; and if so, was it safe for him to be back duty? What skid mark measurements were taken at the scene where the patrol card slammed on brakes in attempt to avoid an accident? Or did he not slow down? Was he paying attention? Was his cell phone carrier checked, for texting, etc? Any other law abiding citizens bill would have been checked, and there are laptops in their vehicles (just saying) Unless distracted, anyone in their right mind, would have seen a cotton picker in the highway, especially with the lights and SMV emblem on the rear. Stevie Wonder could have even seen it! And for this vehicle to have broken the rear axle of the picker, then sending it across the center line, thru a ditch and into a field before it came to rest, could not have been from a slow impact. My point here is: if this had been any other citizen (other than law enforcement) a ticket would have been given, for following to closely. I believe there are more issues at hand here that are being overlooked. And yes I am aware of the law on oversized farm equipment on the highway after dark and by law the owner/operator should pay their fines for this, but it just appears there was some negligence on behalf of the deputy as well.
  • by Anonymous Location: Vanceboro on Oct 8, 2011 at 07:35 PM
    The deputy should get the ticket if there was an orange triangle & either red lights or reflectors as most pickers or combines have. There is no reason the deputy should not have been able to stop in time. Sounds like he was driving faster than he should have for conditions & line of sight.
  • by uh Location: ENC on Oct 7, 2011 at 03:51 PM
    "Tractors operated on a highway at night must have one white light visible at least 500 feet from the front of the tractor and at least ONE RED LIGHT visible at least 500 feet from the rear of the vehicle. Two red reflectors with a diameter of at least four inches may be used in place of the red light." I echo this which "Native" posted and would add that an LEO must be in control of his vehicle at all times. The deputy needs a ticket.
  • by Enforcer Location: Jones County on Oct 7, 2011 at 03:02 PM
    General Statute §20-116 defines limitation on the dimensions and loads of vehicles allowed on the highways. This statute has several exemptions for the agricultural industry such as paragraph (d) that allows trucks transporting unprocessed cotton from farm to gin an addition eight feet in overall length. Paragraph (j) allows 6 grain combines up to 18 feet wide to operate on any highway except for the interstate and national defense systems. However, the operation of these vehicles is restricted to the following conditions. • They may only be operated during daylight hours. etc...........
    • reply
      by Slow it down some LE boys and girls on Oct 7, 2011 at 06:19 PM in reply to Enforcer
      Common sense Statute 55mph-101 defines adequately intellegent LE employee as one that does not run into the back of a very large piece of farm equip. in rural Jones County NC- With or without a bull bar.

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