Man dies in Burke County when Ford Ranger smashes into truck carrying mobile home

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

A man is dead after he crosses the double line and runs directly into a wide load.

Neighbors say it's just the latest example of the dangers when big trucks and small roads collide.

A crash in Burke County kills a Waynesboro man Friday morning.

It all happened on Highway 56 in Burke County...right near Cates-Mead Road.

The accident is still under investigation, but officers say this stretch of road is especially dangerous.

Friday a narrow road and truck carrying a large load cost Albert Kesterton his life.

8:30 in the morning...a mobile home was headed one way, a Ford Ranger the other. Locals say scenes like this are common.

"Is speeding a problem? Oh yes...yes it is!" says resident Calvin Payne. He knows first hand after a close call with a speeding log truck.

"It didn't even slow down...if I hadn't moved into this lane, it would have smashed me," Payne says.

But the driver of the Ford Ranger, Albert Kesterton, and his dog weren't so lucky.

Officers say the 52-year-old man drifted into oncoming traffic and hit a mobile home. Locals say large vehicles on the road and high speeds are a dangerous combination.

"People are going to speed. They ought to slow down...but they don't," says Sheriff Gregory Coursey.

The numbers show people don't slow down. Highway 56 is over 100 miles long...and the 13 mile stretch through Burke County has seen 25 serious accidents and six deaths in a year.

"He had some vital signs, may have been alive. But he's since been pronounced dead," Sheriff Coursey says.

He says high impact and the wooden beam that cut through the middle of the car contributed to the death.

This driver says people don't usually go the posted speed of 55.

"I've had to get up to 85 just to pass a log truck," said an unidentified driver on the scene. A run-in with a big truck is how this driver's father died...one of the six on this road.

Payne says he almost became number seven.

"Those trucks...they just have too much speed around the curve...that would have been a fatality," Payne says.

High speeds, narrow roads, large trucks...all can make scenes like this more common.

Burke County's coroner says Mr. Kesterson died from a massive head injury.

The second driver, 56-year-old Danny Brown, suffered minor injuries.

Investigators say there are no signs either driver was speeding.


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