If you drive southwest of Raleigh for about three hours, you will arrive in the fast-growing Charlotte suburb of Gastonia. The city of nearly 80,000 residents is home to a 33-year-old trucker w was recently driving his tractor-trailer on an interstate highway in Tennessee when the vehicle’s left-front tire blew out.
The North Carolina truck driver was unable to maintain control of the 18-wheeler, law enforcement officials said. His rig went off of the interstate’s left shoulder and down an embankment and then into a tree line before it came to a stop. He was later charged by the Highway Patrol with driving while impaired.
According to a news report, the truck driver was impaired by marijuana at the time of the incident. Though there were no reported injuries, it is clear that the potential for tremendous harm to drivers of other vehicles (and their passengers) is significant when a tractor-trailer traveling at interstate speeds suddenly goes out of control.
In addition to being charged to driving under the influence of marijuana, the trucker was also charged with failure to have insurance for his vehicle and failure to have the required log book. A 30-year-old Gastonia woman with the same last name as the truck driver was charged with simple possession of marijuana.
Hopefully, both learned an important lesson about driving while impaired. They walked away unscathed this time – and so did other motorists – but none of them might be as fortunate next time. Let’s hope there is no next time for any of them.