Serious head-on crash in Chatham County

SANFORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a serious head-on crash on N.C. Highway 87/US Highway 15-501 at the Deep River Bridge in Chatham County, which is north of Sanford.

The preliminary investigation shows that a Chevy pickup driven by Joel Cheek, 62, of Chapel Hill, was traveling north on US 15-501. A Ford passenger vehicle driven by Frank Smith, 52, of Sanford, was traveling south.

Troopers say Cheek attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle in front of him also traveling north. Smith observed the Chevy pickup within his lane of travel and steered to the left to avoid hitting the pickup. Simultaneously, Cheek steered to the right and struck the Ford head on.

Cheek refused treatment from EMS at the scene. Smith was taken to Central Carolina Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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