Driver charged in U.S. 1 fiery crash

LEE COUNTY Authorities reopened one lane of U.S. 1 north around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and charged the driver of a pickup truck failure to yield.

According to the NC Highway Patrol, 34-year-old Donnie Ray Smith, Jr. of Sanford pulled in front of a tractor-trailer traveling on U.S. 1 north.

Smith allegedly pulled out of a Kangaroo gas station onto the highway, near Tramway Road. He was driving a pickup truck owned by Triangle Mechanical Contractors.

The tractor-trailer truck driver, 46-year-old William Edward Swan of Sanford, was unable to avoid hitting the pickup.

Swan was transporting pine straw for Freightliner.

After impact, the pickup caught fire. Both drivers were taken to Central Carolina Hospital.

Swann was released, but Smith remains hospitalized.

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