Tractor-Trailer Accident On 321 In Caldwell County Early Thursday Morning Leaves Two Florida Men Dead

An early Thursday morning accident just down the mountain from the Watauga/Caldwell line has claimed the life of two Florida men.

The accident, around 4am, occurred on 321 near Kirby Mountain Road on a runaway truck ramp. The truck was hauling spools of metal and it is unclear where they were traveling to, according to reports. The driver and passenger were both killed in the accident. According to a published report, the driver was David Bailey, age 51 and the passenger was Chris Raines, age 58. According to the report, Bailey was wearing a seatbelt while Raines was located in the sleeper cab portion of the truck. Both men were of Lutz, Florida, according to the report.

The cause of the accident has not yet been fully determined, but NCSHP says that the driver either fell asleep at the wheel or the vehicle experienced equipment failure. Drugs or alcohol are not suspected to have been involved, per a report.

According to several media reports, a kitten was found alive in the truck and the Caldwell Animal Shelter was able to retrieve it.