NEWPORT — The driver of a dump truck died Friday morning when he lost control of his vehicle while traveling west on Highway 70.

The N.C. Highway Patrol reports that at 7:55 a.m. Friday, they responded to a fatal traffic accident on Highway 70 between Tom Mann Road and the railroad tracks.

According to an accident report, a dump truck traveling west on the highway went off the road on the right side, then overcorrected getting back on the roadway. Driver James Guthrie Jr., 56, lost control of the truck and it overturned, spilling its load of large rocks, which covered the east and westbound lanes, as well as the median.

Mr. Guthrie died as a result of the accident. Another vehicle sustained damage when it was struck by a large rock that spilled out of the truck. The occupants of the second vehicle weren’t injured, according to the report.

Highway patrol reports westbound traffic on Highway 70 at the site of the accident was detoured for several hours due to the debris in the roadway. Eastbound traffic was stopped briefly while rocks were removed from the travel lanes.

Mr. Guthrie was the only occupant in the truck. Highway patrol reports he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Investigators don’t suspect drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident.

N.C. Department of Transportation personnel assisted with clearing the roadway.

Newport Fire Chief Ben Whitley said in an interview with the News-Times Friday there were no hazardous materials spilled and only minor cleanup was required from the fire department.

Contact Mike Shutak at 252-726-7081 ext. 206, email mike@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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