NCDOT worker dies in dump truck crash on N.C. 12

By on November 11, 2012

Parts of N.C. 12 are still covered with sand. (NCDOT)

A highway department employee was killed early Sunday while working on a section of N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Michael Brad Stevenson, 37, died after the dump truck he was driving collided with another dump truck, according to an N.C. Department of Transportation statement.

The driver of the other truck, also a highway department employee, was injured.

Highway officials opened an emergency route for four-wheel-drive vehicles along the damaged section of highway Saturday afternoon. The route had been scheduled to be closed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and no private vehicles were involved in the accident.

N.C. 12 between the Bonner Bridge and Rodanthe remained closed Sunday morning until about 9 a.m. The highway department has decided that the emergency route will be open to four-wheel-drive vehicles only during daylight hours.

“The area is remote, and current road conditions are more challenging to navigate at night,” the statement said. “NCDOT is currently working with local officials to develop options for traveling along this stretch of N.C. 12 that will provide additional travel times.”

Stevenson, a resident of Hertford, was a transportation worker in Pasquotank County. He worked for NCDOT for about 15 years. He is survived by his wife and their three children.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Stevenson family during this extremely difficult time,” NCDOT Secretary Gene Conti said in the statement. “The men and women who work to keep N.C. 12, and all of our highways, safe and open for travel are special people. When something like this happens, it hits all of us in the DOT family hard.”

N.C. 12 north of Rodanthe had been closed since Hurricane Sandy, which pushed sand and surf onto the only land access to Hatteras Island and tore up sections of asphalt. The worst damage was between the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe.

Emergency ferries are running from Rodanthe to the mainland, and N.C. 12 south of Rodanthe has been open since shortly after the storm two weeks ago.

North of Rodanthe, there is one lane in each direction except at the temporary bridge on Pea Island and the Bonner Bridge. Traffic signals have been set up at both spans to allow one-lane crossings in alternating directions.

“Drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles should expect a rough ride, which will include traveling over sand, damaged pavement and some water,” the NCDOT said.

“On the sandy portions of the access route, motorists should follow makeshift lane markers comprised of barrels, cones and flags connected with orange protective fencing.”

Hurricane Sandy washed out portions of N.C. 12 two weeks ago, and a second storm this week washed more water and sand onto the road.

Bookmark and Share



November 11, 2012 9:06 pm

Prayers for the Stevenson family. My heart goes out to his wife and three young children. My thanks goes out to the first responders who wanted to make things turn out differently, but couldn’t.

Chief Marlin

November 11, 2012 8:32 pm

I just wanted to say thank you for Dare County EMS, Station 16 Nags Head, and all the members of Rodanthe Fire and Rescue who spent their wee hours once again doing work no one ever wants to do. We train for this but we NEVER want to use this training. This was a VERY bad accident and Ray’s venting is sure out of place.
Our condolences to the family of Mr. Stevenson. 37 is WAY too young to leave this earth. Before anyone else tries to Monday morning quarterback this accident, please let a proper investigation proceed so it’s results will help prevent such from happening again. To our DOT workers our hat’s are off to you for your work.
Your hardship does not go without notice or appreciation.
Chief 42

Rob Morris

November 11, 2012 7:40 pm

Ray Midgett, et al: Please take this debate offline or to another, more appropriate post. Thank you.

Ginny Mavredes

November 11, 2012 7:39 pm

This was not the place for Ray Midgett to air his comments. Sir if you so despise the Bonner Bridge and other things there on HI then you should move up north where they have no power right now. I have always found HI and it’s people to be very warm and very understanding. Just their way of life. You sir sound like a very bitter old man.
My condolences to to the family of this man who was simply trying to do his job.

Ray Midgett

November 11, 2012 7:09 pm

The fact that that young man lost his life, doing a job that was only serving so much of the selfishness that I have seen form many of the residents of Hatteras Island is the very impetus for my post. To wit: the bitching about the WOW matter. What childishness !! It is truly sad that local pressures are placed on NCDOT every damn time something gets blown out or blown away on HI that something like this had to occur. Frankly, I’m long over HI’s problems and don’t buy the snake oil that the rest of Dare County or the State of NC should owe HI residents one darn thing. Donor island? B.S. people on HI want to point to occupancy tax figures fed to them by certain county commissioners to get them hyped up. Throw in the sales taxes, property taxes, etc..and HI DOES NOT ACCOUNT for 30% of county revenue as Burrus and Judge want people to believe. Furthemore, they suck more back, per capital, than any other part of Dare County. If Burrus could make a living selling groceries to the locals on HI like his ancestors did, he wouldn’t be complaining all the time about NCDOT, and NPS and everything else, wanting the roads and bridge open for more tourists, in spite of what is good common sense.. Tell Burrus to incorporate Hatteras and let him and others on the island see what it’s like to really pay for governmental services. Wake up people, there is a ton of people in Dare County who could care less if that bridge every gets built or another 4×4 crosses over it. I wasn’t one of them, but am getting closer and closer to reality. Read it and Weep, I say. And, my heart goes out the the family of the NCDOT worker. My son works for NCDOT. I was also a state employee. Don’t try to tell me anything about political pressures in Dare County and how they affect people’s lives, sometimes in a negative and tragic way. Been there, seen that and don’t like it.

Salvo Jimmy

November 11, 2012 5:36 pm

OBX Resident

The accident occured in the early morning hrs when the road was closed to traffic and had nothing to do with someone not knowing how to drive a 4WD. It apparently involved two dump trucks.

Read about it here in the NCDOT news release

Rick Dunn

November 11, 2012 5:16 pm

Thoughts and prayers to the family of the NCDOT employee may he rest in peace,! Mr Midgette you are obviously a heartless individual to even put a post like that on here.Luckily for you God will look out for you to if you ask him However he will forgive me too for saying your an ass !!!!!!

Ray Midgett

November 11, 2012 5:03 pm

George, my condolences will be sent to the family also, and in my own way. As to HI, my father,and his six siblings, my grandfather and great-grandfather were all born in Rodanthe. I grew up in Dare County and don’t need to be told about anyone’s ancestorial history. I think you must know there are a lot of people in Dare County and outside of Dare County that simply tire of the county, state and federal gov’t having to constantly go to bat down there, only to have to listen to griping everytime the sun goes behind a cloud! As my father-in-law, who served on the board of education for years use to say, “I don’t care what you given those folks on Hatteras Island for their schools, they won’t take care of it, and keep on complaining!” Well, just maybe he was right. Want to know what my impression is of the best example of community pride on HI? Don’t say yes, if you can’t accept my answer. Finally, isn’t it time locals and want-to-be locals on HI brought their communities together and and put some unified efforts into solving some of the problems that nature throws their way. And, they can start by refusing to be puppets for some of the county commissioners and business people that want their vote and hard labors so they can make more money. JMO

Mary Ellon Ballance

November 11, 2012 4:40 pm

Mr. Ray Midgett:

Might I remind you that Dare County is a donor county, which means that we pay way more taxes to the state then we get in return. That being said, without the tax dollars generated on Hatteras Island, there would be a substantial decrease in the tax dollars for roads and bridges in the rest of the state. Maybe you should do a little homework before you vent your frustrations at the end of a story in which a precious life was lost. This was a horrible, unforeseen accident. Becareful when you point fingers, there are three pointing back at you. One more thing, I will say a little prayer for you tonight, carrying around that much anger and disgust is only hurting you.

Mary Ellon Ballance

Ralph & Dana Falardeau

November 11, 2012 4:35 pm

How dare you Mr Midgette! A young person died trying to make the OBX better. He is,in our little part of the world, a hero. Our infrastructure needs work – but our people, hard working people, are not indispensible. While we were sleeping he was taken away from his family and our community. Love and blessings to his family and friends.I exp0erinced the pain when an FLDOT preson lost his life on the job while his teammates were in my seminar. The pain and the pride would bring any person to tears. Keep yor politics separate from the pain of the loss of lives of hard-working individuals.


November 11, 2012 3:34 pm

You are way wrong and so out of touch it is really pitiful. I can not believe you even said this!


November 11, 2012 2:30 pm

Mr Midgett’s comment(s) are unwarranted and baseless and pathetic.. We all have family members or friends who work in the Military,DOT, Law Enforcement or some manner of public service. I commend and pray for all of them. I dare say if he were on Hatteras Island he would be one of the most vocal. It is time to pray for the family of the one who lost their life. Pull together for the common good to restore the roadways and businesses. George Farrow I commend you for your remarks.
Hatteras Native

George Farrow

November 11, 2012 12:35 pm

To Ray Midgett. Your comment is narrow minded and insulting! You might make those comments under the 1st amendment but that doesn’t make it the right “thing” to say. I grew up on Hatteras Island and my Mom and brother live there still. My grandparents were islanders most of their lives as were generations of family before them. My grandfather was the last official light-keeper for the Ocracoke lighthouse prior to its automation. He also received a letter for bravery from President Roosevelt for riding out a hurricane on the Diamond Shoals Lightship in 1933. Back then to get off the Island, one had to take the bus that the Midgett’s of Hatteras provided to residents. By your attitude i’m sure you’re not related to them. It traveled on the beach (as there were no paved roads) at low tide. You then took a boat across the inlet. You are right in part of your rant in that back then they had that “old spirit”. People were tough back then. But then again, they had no other way did they? There are still generations living on that island that maybe have no other way to live other than what they harvest in fishing nets, or generate through the tourism trade. That by the way, Ray, helps your life wether you like or not by way of shared tax revenues. I bet if you had to live down on the island you would be the one with the loudest voice.

One of my high school classmates was a DOT worker and killed in Hatteras Village directing traffic. RIP Jerome Austin.

My condolences to the family and friends of the DOT worker. May God grant you peace and understanding.

Stan Clough

November 11, 2012 11:20 am

Condolences are due to the family and friends of the DOT worker who died, wrong place to vent Ray.


November 11, 2012 11:03 am

Ray, your argument is ridiculous. Apply your logic to any state that has an area more prone to natural disasters than the rest of the state and see how far you get.

Condolences to the friends & family of the DOT employee.


November 11, 2012 10:37 am

my deapest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of this individual that lost his life. such a sad moment should not be responded to so harshly from some.

obx resident

November 11, 2012 9:45 am

The road should have never been opened. That is why we have the emergency ferries. To open the road prematurely is the perfect recipe for what happened early this morning. Not everyone knows how to drive in 4WD.


November 11, 2012 9:43 am

It is about time NC got real and put a reef a half mile out to see to slow the waves. Sink a few mothballed ships out there and protect the island as well as create a tourist attraction for divers and a new habitat for ocean creatures.

Ray Midgett

November 11, 2012 9:38 am

If I hear another word from anyone on Hatteras Island about getting their roads fixed, ferries repaired or building the darn Bonner Bridge, I’ll scream. How much more to they want from the taxpayers of NC and NCDOT?
It wouldn’t bother me too much if they blew up the darn bridge and sank the ferries. Then, let’s see how many folks on HI really have that “old spirit” they like to brag about. (it’s time the other side vented, isn’t it?)
(Father of a NCDOT employee)

martha mccullough

November 11, 2012 8:56 am

My condolences to the family and friends of this person.


November 11, 2012 8:54 am

So sad. Thoughts and prayers go out to their family and friends.

Comments are closed.