ROCKINGHAM — Southbound traffic on U.S. 220 was rerouted Tuesday morning after a tractor-trailer hauling chickens overturned in what’s been dubbed “dead-man’s curve.”
Robin Lee Cagle, 53, of Rockingham, was hauling a load of chickens to the Perdue processing plant around 4:30 a.m. when he ran off the road, hitting the guardrail, according to Trooper Wesley Maynor with the N.C. State Highway Patrol. Maynor said Cagle “snatched” the wheel back and the shifting weight of the load caused the truck to overturn.
Several of the cages rolled down the embankment and some of the chickens fell out and were killed, Maynor said.
Cagle was taken to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond for treatment of minor injuries, according to the trooper.
Traffic was detoured down Dockery Road to Harrington Road as a crew from Perdue worked to load the chicken cages onto another truck. The road was re-opened around 11 a.m.
Maynor said Cagle’s estimated speed around the curve was 50 mph. Following several previous wrecks in that location, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has reduced the speed in that curve to 45 mph.
Cagle was cited for failure to maintain lane control and exceeding safe speed around a curve, Maynor said.
Andrew Barksdale, a spokesman for NCDOT Division 8, said there are plans for additional measures to try to get drivers to slow down around that curve.
There have been multiple sign changes made since that section opened, including a message board and yellow chevron signs.
Barksdale said last month that the curve will be in place for four years until another section of the bypass is opened.
“That design speed will work safely, even for tractor-trailers,” he said at the time. “They are rolling over because they are driving way over the speed limit.”