Trucker found dead in Selma

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2003

The only reason Victor Blue stopped his rig at Jones Oil Truck Stop on the Highway 80 bypass,

was to find out where to deliver the bacon he was hauling. He didn’t expect to find the dead body of a co-worker in the process.

ProTransport &045;&045; the trucking company Blue works for out of Saint Pauls, N.C. &045;&045; told him to be on the lookout for his missing co-worker, who hadn’t been seen for about a week. The company had already spoken with state troopers about the missing employee, but no sign of his truck had been found, Blue, 28, said.

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Blue saw the missing truck after pulling into the truck stop Thursday afternoon; he knocked on the window, but didn’t get a response.

He then looked through the window of the truck at the sleeping area, or bunk, where truckers sleep while on the road. When he didn’t see anything there, he looked toward the gas pedal, where he caught a glimpse of the missing employee.

Blue then asked truck stop employee Elizabeth Daniels, 27, to call the police.

Warren Hinson, Selma Police Department public information officer, said the case was being handled as a death investigation, and that investigators didn’t see any evidence of foul play.

Blue, though, said when police arrived they discovered the truck’s door unlocked, unusual, he explained, because truckers normally sleep with their truck cabs locked.

The name of the deceased, an elderly black male, won’t be released by the Selma Police Department until his next-of-kin have been notified.

Officers received the truck-stop call at 1:45 p.m.; when they arrived at the scene, the truck driver proved unresponsive. Haynes Ambulance was notified and the body taken to Miller Funeral Home.

Hinson said that medicine found in the truck could have indicated ongoing medical problems &045;&045; perhaps diabetes or heart disease.

Less than an hour after police arrived, storm clouds accumulated and the small crowd around the police cars dispersed. Blue, meanwhile, pulled onto the highway to deliver the rest of his load.