A man died after the pickup he was driving struck a farming implement attached to the rear of a farm tractor on Old 60 in the Broadway community late Wednesday morning.
John Wayne Cleary, 70, died at the scene after the collision occurred near the Virginias Drive intersection with Old 60 about 10:40 a.m., said Trooper Jonathan Barnes of the N.C. Highway Patrol.
Barnes said Cleary was westbound on Old 60 after leaving his home on Old Highway 60 less than a half-mile away when his 1997 Chevrolet S-10 pickup struck the plow-type farming implement, attached to an eastbound John Deere 8000 series tractor driven by Josh Horton, 39, of Horton Road, Mount Airy.
Barnes said the 18-foot-wide farming implement exceeded the width of the tractor’s travel lane and that sight distance for the pickup where the wreck occurred was limited by a row of trees. There was no indication of excessive speed, he added.
He said the left front of Cleary’s pickup struck the farming implement, causing heavy damage to that portion of the vehicle. The pickup came to rest in a paved residential driveway on the right side of the road. Emergency personnel cut off the top of the pickup’s cab to remove Cleary’s body.
Barnes said Wilkes Emergency Medical Services transported Claudia Whittington Cleary, 63, a passenger in the pickup, to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. The same addresses were listed for the pickup driver and passenger.
The trooper said Horton wasn’t injured and the farming implement and tractor weren’t damaged. Horton pulled the rig off on Virginias Drive after the collision.
Barnes said the tractor and implement belong to Sparta-based Bottomley’s Evergreens & Farms and that Horton is employed by Bottomley’s. He said Horton was on his way from working in one field to working in another, both for Bottomley’s, when the wreck occurred. Both fields are near the Yadkin River.
Barnes said the investigation is continuing. Master Trooper Jeffrey Swagger said investigating troopers will be in consultation with the Wilkes County District Attorney’s Office concerning any charges.
The Broadway Fire Department, Wilkes Rescue Squad and other Highway Patrol troopers responded, in addition to Wilkes EMS.