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December 5, 2020

Piedmont Natural Gas employee killed in two-vehicle crash on Yadkin River bridge

SALISBURY — A Piedmont Natural Gas employee was killed in an early morning, two-vehicle collision on Interstate 85 while on his way to work, says the N.C. State Highway Patrol.

Benjamin Lee Motley, of Linwood, was driving a utility pickup southbound on I-85 on the Yadkin River bridge near the Davidson-Rowan line when he struck the rear of tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer was driven by Hamidou Zimari, of Charlotte.

Motley, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced deceased at the scene by Rowan EMS personnel, the Highway Patrol said. Zimari was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

According to Sgt. D.M. Morgan, troopers are still trying to determine if speed was a factor. The speed limit in that area is 70 mph. Morgan said there is no indication that Motley had a medical condition and alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

The crash occurred around 6 a.m. The road was closed until 10:30 a.m.

Morgan said a secondary collision occurred shortly after the fatal crash when a passenger car struck the tractor-trailer. A passenger in that vehicle was injured by broken glass. No other details involving the second crash were immediately available.

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