MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) – A volunteer Burke County firefighter was killed after being hit by a car while trying to clear debris from a road in Morganton Sunday night.
According to a spokesperson with the Triple Community Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched to a tree that was blocking the eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 70 East near the Drexel intersection just before midnight.
A driver who was traveling eastbound on Highway 70 struck 40-year-old Jason Keith Hensley, who was a firefighter with the Triple Community Fire Department, crews say. Hensley was killed “instantly upon impact,” officials said.
Hensley was wearing “appropriate reflective gear” when he was struck.
Highway Patrol says 58-year-old Randall Stewart was charged with driving while impaired, driving without a license, reckless driving, not wearing a seat belt, possessing marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia. Stewart allegedly struck two other vehicles that were parked at the scene including Hensley’s personal vehicle which had the emergency lights activated.
More charges are possible.
On Sunday, Burke County was under a Tornado Warning for some time. A tornado was confirmed to have touched down around the southeast of Morganton in Burke County.