Man Killed In Highway 264 Tractor/SVU Crash

Funeral arraignments are set for a man killed when his SUV hit a tractor on Highway 264 in Pitt County.

27-year-old Matthew Hales died in the crash July 20th. The funeral was held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday July 27th in his hometown of Rockford, Michigan.

Although Highway Patrol said the tractor should not have been on the limited access highway and Hales failed to reduce speeds to avoid the collision, the district attorney, Clark Everett, decided charges would not be filed against the tractor driver. Calls to Everett about that decision have gone unanswered.

Hales leaves behind a wife and two children.


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The Highway Patrol reports the District Attorney's office will not file charges in a deadly tractor accident on U.S. 264 in Pitt County.

Matthew Hales of Greenville was killed when his SUV slammed into the back of the slow moving tractor near the Mozingo Road intersection Wednesday morning. State troopers say because that part of U.S. 264 is a limited access highway, the tractor should not have been driving on it.

According to Master Trooper Doug Coley, the DA's office says they will not pursue charges against the tractor driver, Douglas Anderson of Farmville.

Coley says the accident report it will indicate as a contributing factor to the crash that the tractor was improperly on a limited access highway and that Hales failed to reduce speed to avoid the collision.

Troopers say Hales was going about 70 miles per hour, which is the posted speed limit, while the tractor was driving around 25 miles per hour when the crash happened.


Previous Story

The Highway Patrol says the driver of an SUV which rear-ended a slow moving farm tractor on U.S. 264 has died. The Highway Patrol says that tractor should not have been on the divided highway.

Troopers identify the dead driver as 27-year-old Matthew Hales of Greenville.

Authorities say Hales' SUV crashed into the back of the tractor near the Mozingo Road exit. Both drivers were taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital as a result of the crash which happened around 10:15 a.m.

Witnesses say the SUV driver didn't slow down for the tractor. After the collision the SUV went off the right side of the road and into some woods. Hales had to be extricated. The tractor ended up in the left lane of the highway.

Troopers say there was a lot of debris on the highway, which delayed them from reopening the road. The DOT says the farm tractor needed a permit to operate on the limited access highway.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anony on Sep 28, 2011 at 06:28 AM
    He was texting. His cell phone was found by troopers in his lap and phone records indicate this as well. His wife's blog says so.
    • reply
      by LMG on Oct 6, 2011 at 06:42 PM in reply to Anony
      You are an ignorant person with no true knowledge of the situation. You read articles and make assumptions without thinking. I pity you as a trifling, insignificant human being.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 12, 2011 at 12:52 AM
    (cont.) and be grateful that it was not you or someone you love so dearly. These two children will grow up without their daddy. His wife has lost the love of her life. Their entire life is flipped upside down and some of you have the audacity to comment such heartless and harsh things. It is so sad. It is not human. I realize some of you cannot help but state your opinion, but for the family's sake, just bite your tongue for once and have some compassion. Say a prayer for the family, then get out of your computer chair and go tell the ones you love that you appreciate and love them. His family would give ANYTHING to be able to do that just one more time.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 12, 2011 at 12:45 AM
    So many of these posts are so kind, yet many are unbelievably cruel and downright haunting. Let me remind you, in case those of you who are quick to judge have forgotten or were unaware: MATTHEW WAS a human being. Not a daily news article to be argued over and disrespected by people that are quick to judge. He was a father, a husband, a son, brother, grandson, cousin, and an amazing person. If you are here to argue, kindly do that elsewhere. How can some people be so insensitive to his family? Shame on those who have disrespected this young man's tragic death. Although your lives have moved on, his family is still in mourning and will be for a very long time. RESPECT that,
  • by Native Location: Grantsboro on Jul 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM
    Hhhhhhh! Where's this permit requirement? Show me! This is just like church,, show me chapter and verse. A permit requirement absolutely does not exist! The tractor driver was not at fault! I hate it for the driver of the SUV and his family but quit blaming the farmer, or probably a farm worker who was going to the location his employer told him to go. If there had of been a permit requirement the DA would have pressed manslaughter charges but he didn't! Besides, if he would have had this mythical permit, it would not have stopped the man from running into the back of the tractor. God bless the family of the deceased and the tractor operator.
    • reply
      by Concerned In Ayden on Jul 31, 2011 at 04:08 PM in reply to Native
      You Ignorant People Truly Make Me Sick. Your Ignorance is so disgusting it's actually amazing you have managed to survive as you have. A man is dead and all you can think of is trying to justify a piece of farm equipment being on a hwy that it should never have been on to start with. All of you with this mentality are disgustingly ignorant.
  • by Sarah Location: Greenville on Jul 28, 2011 at 03:55 PM
    About a month I was coming back from Raleigh and was in between Farmville and Greenville on 264. There was a tractor both in the shoulder and the right traffic lane. It was around a curve and I barely saw it in time to get over. Had a car had been in the left hand lane there would have been 0 chance of avoiding a collision. There was no time to slow down. These things happen so quickly. My thoughts go out to this poor mans wife and children he left behind.
  • by Ugh Location: Kinston on Jul 28, 2011 at 02:48 PM
    Dear people constantly commenting on news stories on WITN: GET A REAL JOB & QUIT HIDING BEHIND YOUR COMPUTER SCREENS. You sound like a bunch of bickering kids. If the accident happened on a straightaway, wouldn't he have had the time to SWITCH LANES? I don't know of any 70mph speed limit road that is only one lane. And I'm sure the tractor wasn't taking up both lanes either. He was probably distracted. Tractor shouldn't have been there, but driver was distracted & didn't look up in time to avoid it. So blame breaks even.
  • by dead and gone Location: gville on Jul 28, 2011 at 12:12 PM
    HE IS DEAD AND GONE!!!! TAKE HIS LOSE AS A REMINDER TO WATCH THE ROAD INFRONT OF YOU AND SLOW DOWN.
  • by To HUSH Location: Greenville NC on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:50 AM
    I did not know your friend personally other than the fact that I saw him and his sweet, beautiful family in the place of business I work at nearly every weekend. All I can say is that he always appeared to be a very attentive husband and daddy and it breaks my heart for his family that he is gone. So for those of you who want to argue over laws and where to place the blame for this tragic accident, you need to wake up and see the bigger picture here. A life was cut short and there is a young family now without a husband and father. What is wrong with you people?
    • reply
      by Concerned In Ayden on Jul 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM in reply to To HUSH
      You're exactly right, that's why we need to do something NOW and make sure the laws are enforced so this doesn't have to happen to another family. If the laws aren't enforced there will inevitably be another tragic accident and more lives lost.
      • reply
        by tired of concerned in ayden on Jul 28, 2011 at 03:43 PM in reply to Concerned In Ayden
        enforce the law. you say? it was enforced there is on law that say's a tractor has to have a perment to be on that road. you agree with the comment above you so why are you still saying the farmer is in the wrong.please tell us why the farmer is in the wrong. i want (facts).NOT HEAR SAY. if you agree with (to hush)comment that it was a tragic accident. then why all the talk about enforcing the law. IT HAS BEEN ENFORCED. the farmer has to live with it the rest of his life. YOU WILL NEVER KNOW HOW IT FEELS. The tractor driver could care less about a ticket. you should care less about hem getting one. and worry about your life
        • reply
          by Concerned In Ayden on Jul 31, 2011 at 04:11 PM in reply to tired of concerned in ayden
          DO yourself a favor, learn to spell, or learn how to type, or maybe both. It might help when you are trying to make people believe that you actually know what you're talking about. For right now, do yourself and your family a favor and Stop showing your ignorance.
      • reply
        by You're Wrong! on Jul 28, 2011 at 05:23 PM in reply to Concerned In Ayden
        You still are up here? You aren't even paying attention to what this person is saying! They want people to STOP arguing and fighting, and you still are trying to push for something you know NOTHING about! This person is telling to RESPECT the family, and leave this alone. Apparently you know NOTHING about RESPECT!
    • reply
      by Her Boyfriend :) on Jul 28, 2011 at 11:58 PM in reply to To HUSH
      You know my girlfriend would often tell me how she woudl see this guy and his family. What really struck me was how she would often speak of how ALIKE we looked. I didnt know him nor did she know him perosnally but yet still its sad that a loving father, sons life was cut short. Let's FORGET blame and just remorse for a life taken short. Your arguements just show how shallow most of you are. Im sure it would hit home had it been your son/husband. This world we life in with ppl that have these types of fames of mind is just pathetic.
  • by DUKE Location: ENC on Jul 28, 2011 at 07:28 AM
    I was coming down 258 this morning and met a large piece of farm equipment going in the other direction. As we made it around a curve, I saw a tractor trailer coming into the curve. Tell me how safe that farm worker was on that highway where the speed limit is only 55 mph and the big truck was obeying the rules of the road. It would have been tragic here, much less on a 70 mph road.
  • by LLR Location: Rockford on Jul 27, 2011 at 07:06 PM
    Usually highways have a minimum speed of 45mph. traveling a speed below minimum speed on highway he shouldn't of been on. hmm.... who's at fault?
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