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Good Samaritan knew he had to help after crash: 'It was somebody's family member'

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01.12Sharpe4.JPG

The big rig driver that was involved in a crash that closed Interstate 26 Friday morning is in good shape, thanks, in part, to the help of good Samaritans who stepped in to lend a hand after the crash.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says 57-year-old Jerry Fulp of Asheville was traveling west on I-26 Friday morning at around 3:30 a.m., when his tractor trailer traveled off the road to the right and struck a guardrail.

Fulp’s tractor trailer then overturned and landed in the roadway, blocking both westbound lanes of I-26.

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Ronald Sharpe happened to be traveling west down I-26 when he happened upon the crash. He immediately jumped out of his vehicle and rushed to help the truck driver. "I seen a guy in there and he was struggling because his seat belt was on. So, I climbed up on the truck, and took a knife and cut him loose," Sharpe said.

Sharpe and another passerby rushed to free Fulp from the truck, climbing down into the cab of the truck while others called 911.

Sharpe says he didn’t know the driver, didn’t know what he was walking up to find, but knew he had to help.

“You don’t have time to think, you just do it. You just go out there and do it. Cause it’s somebody’s son or daughter or whoever, I didn’t know who was in there but it was somebody’s family member,” said Sharpe. “You never know. You never know who might be in that truck. I would just pray, that if I was in that situation, someone would come help me like that.”

Watch the full interview with Ronald Sharpe here:

Special equipment was brought in to right the big rig and clean up the roadway. The road reopened at around 10 a.m.

The Highway Patrol says as Fulp came out of the curve he was unable to maintain control of the tractor trailer and traveled off the roadway, causing him to overturn and spill the wood chips he was hauling.

Sleep or speed were not a cause of the collision, he simply traveled off the road and wrecked, a state trooper said.

Fulp is charged with failure to maintain lane control.

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