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.

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