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Reckless driving charged in Halifax log truck wreck

A Warrenton, N.C., truck driver was injured, and traffic was brought to a standstill Wednesday afternoon shortly after 1 p.m. in a single-vehicle logging truck wreck on Highway 501 in Halifax near Golf Course Road.

Wallace Harmon, 38, was headed north on Halifax Road when he came around the curve “a bit fast” in front of the Virginia Department of Transportation office in Halifax and lost control of the 1987 Kenworth logging truck he was driving, according to a report filed by Halifax Police Officer W. R. Wilmoth.

The load tipped over causing the tractor to overturn, the officer said, and the load of hard wood logs spilled across the lanes of traffic and into the VDOT parking lot striking the VDOT sign and two parked cars, the investigating officer said.

“The logs tore up the VDOT sign and hit two parked vehicles belong to Alan Satterfield of South Boston and John David Conner III of Halifax,” Wilmoth said.

“I just thank the Lord that no one else was coming up Spencer Hill. It would’ve been even more of a tremendous mess if it had been after 3 when school had let out.”

The logging truck, loaded with some 12-foot and other tree length logs, was headed to Brookneal Chips when the wreck occurred leaving the truck laid over partially in the left northbound lane of Highway 501 and in the median, the officer said.

Harmon, who complained of pain in his left shoulder and left hip as well as lacerations to the left side of his head and face, was transported to the emergency room at Halifax Regional Hospital.

According to Wilmoth, traffic was rerouted while haz mat crews from Halifax Volunteer Fire Department cleaned up the diesel fuel spill and the load of logs strewn across the highway and parking lot.

Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders assisted in the cleanup effort.

“We rerouted northbound traffic through Golf Course Road down Cowford Road, and one lane of southbound traffic was allowed to pass through in the northbound lane of Halifax Road,” Wilmoth said.

The highway was reopened to traffic about four hours later around 5:30 p.m., he said.

C. W. R. Enterprises of Henderson, N.C., owner of the logging truck, brought in another truck from Brookneal to collect the load of logs, Wilmoth said. A loader from Henderson also removed the logging truck, which was listed as a total loss, from the highway and median.

Wilmoth charged the driver of the truck with reckless driving, failure to maintain proper control.

The investigating officer estimated damage to the VDOT sign at $3,000, and damage to Satterfield’s 1995 Nissan at $300 and damage to Conner’s 2006 Toyota pickup at $3,000.