By Brian O’Shea, Plateau Daily News
A truck carrying band equipment tipped onto its side along NC 106 after leaving Bear Shadow music festival on May 1.
The driver of the truck, Deioedre Lyles, walked away from the accident with minor scrapes and bruises and said his air brakes didn’t hold as he made his way around a curve.
“I was pumping the brakes and holding on,” said Lyles. “Once it started tipping over, there was no way to bring it back solid.”
Sky Valley-Scaly Mountain Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene after receiving the call at 1:16 p.m.
Sky Valley Chief Ken Sigler said accidents like this are common, especially with a heavy load on a sloped curve.
“This is a very common call, several times a year,” said Sigler. “The brakes just couldn’t handle the heavy load, plus a little bit of slope on the curve. Couldn’t have happened in a better place, these guard rails are tough.”
A guard rail prevented the truck from dropping off a steep ledge alongside the highway.
Sky Valley Police Chief Vaughn Estes said that these accidents become more frequent as traffic picks up throughout the summer.
“Most cases on this road are downhill brakes and uphill speeding,” said Estes. “Over the summer I’d say we get about 1 a month; more traffic, more wrecks.”
Before pulling the truck upright, it had to be unloaded and loose debris cleared from the area. Two large wreckers were used to pull the truck upright.
“When you have the right equipment, you get the job done,” said Estes. “We unload it and then flip it up. It usually takes two of these big boys. When we get it on all fours, if it can roll they can drive it off.”