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UPDATE: Loaded beer truck overturns; driver charged

A USA tractor-trailer was headed east on Highway 58 near Riverdale on Monday afternoon when an eyewitness said it veered off the right side of the road and overturned down an embankment near Z’s Antiques.

Kamphi M. Claiborne, 41, of Marshall, Texas, was driving the 2009 Kenworth tractor-trailer when he ran off the right shoulder of the highway, lost control, struck a guardrail and overturned in a ravine, according to investigating State Trooper P. W. Leath.

The trailer ripped open upon impact spilling onto the ground its load — cases filled with bottles of Coors Light and cans of Miller beer.

Leath said Claiborne had recently left the brewery in Eden, N.C. and was enroute to Dover, Delaware when the wreck occurred on Highway 58, 500 feet west of State Route 704 around 3:15 p.m.  

Claiborne was able to climb from the overturned cab and was examined by EMS personnel before being transported to Halifax Regional Hospital where he was treated and released for minor injuries, Leath said. 

Leath charged Claiborne with reckless driving/failure to maintain proper control.

Damage to the tractor, trailer and contents was estimated at $100,000 with the tractor-trailer being declared a total loss, Leath said.

The wreck occurred during the afternoon when traffic is heaviest due to nearby industries ending their shifts. 

At times, traffic was backed up in the east-bound lane from the wreck site to Riverstone Technology Park, eye witnesses reported.

Leath said after the tractor-trailer was pulled from the ravine, the cargo of beer bottles and cans — also listed as a total loss — was picked up by a front end loader and hauled away for disposal in the back of a dump truck.

Clean-up efforts were completed around 6 p.m., the officer said, when traffic resumed in both eastbound lanes.

“He was lucky he was not more seriously injured,” Leath added.