RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) -- The state Highway Patrol says a Transportation Department employee died on N.C. 12 when his dump truck rear-ended one that had broken down on the highway early Sunday.
Trooper William Harrison says a dump truck driven by 36-year-old Michael Brad Stevenson hit one sitting in the road that was driven by 45-year-old Ronnie Allen Anderson. Stevenson's truck caught fire, and he was killed.
Anderson was injured and taken to a hospital in Norfolk.
The men were removing sand from the highway, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy last month and a more recent nor'easter.
The highway had just reopened Saturday to 4-wheel-drive vehicles. It was closed for several hours Sunday before DOT reopened it but now only during daylight hours and still limited to those vehicles.
Stevenson leaves behind a wife and three kids. His wife Michelle says his birthday was coming up December 16, a day after his daughter's.
Their last memory is a special Halloween together with the kids.
Michelle says they were also coming up on their sixteenth wedding anniversary.
'It's just a big empty hole in my soul,' she said. 'He was my soul mate. He was my life.'
Stevenson, a resident of Hertford, N.C., was a transportation worker in Pasquotank County and had worked for NCDOT for approximately 15 years.
The State Highway Patrol is investigating.