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1 person killed while clearing tree from Rutherford County road

1 person killed while clearing tree from Rutherford County road
Troopers said a pickup truck hit four people who were clearing a downed tree on Pearidge Road near Collins Road north of Rutherfordton about 10:15 a.m. Thursday. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said one person was arrested for a hit-and-run that happened Thursday morning in Rutherford County.

Authorities said a pickup truck hit four people, killing one and seriously injuring two others, on Pearidge Road near Collins Road. They said the people were clearing trees from the road. Authorities said they got the call about 10:15 a.m.

“At 8, the power started blinking, and we could hear, I could hear transformers popping all around us,” said Todd Kiser, who lives nearby.

Kiser said he was on his way home from work when he got stuck in traffic near the incident.

“I was stopped over on Whitesides, and my friend from communications was telling me that a fatality had come in,” he said.

Kiser said those roads, as well as others, were cluttered with debris from the overnight storms. He said it made it difficult for emergency personnel to respond.

“The ambulances and police were backing up behind me. They couldn’t get through because there were literally three trees down in one section not 100 yards away was four or five more trees,” Kiser said.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol has not released the names of the driver or those who were hit.

Kiser said the people who were out clearing the trees were just trying to help.

“Seemed like there was some state workers, but there was a lot of what I would say is good ole boys, chainsaws and trucks, you know. They were out there clearing,” Kiser said.

Rutherford County is currently under a state of emergency due to the impacts from Zeta.

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