According to a report by N.C. State Highway Patrol Trooper P.M. Sanders, Coy Lee Norris of Loris, S.C., was driving a 1996 Peterbilt tractor trailer south on U.S. 701 around 2 p.m. when he tried to slow down for a curve.
The 80,000-pound tractor-trailer jackknifed, overturning and partially blocking the southbound lanes for several hours. The truck destroyed several state highway signs and came to rest on its left side.
The accident happened near the intersection with N.C. 41 East.
Lewis was not seriously injured.
A diesel tank on the truck ruptured in the crash, spilling a large amount of fuel onto the road, shoulder and into a ditch.
White Lake firefighters, working in a driving rainstorm, used hand-tools and a front-end loader to spread sand to stop fuel from running off into a roadside ditch. The ditch drains into a nearby bay swamp, near one of the town's three wells.
No charges were filed in the wreck, and White Lake Public Works Director Tim Frush said the spill was contained before it reached the well.
Around $8,000 damage was sustained by the tractor-trailer. The signs were valued at $500.