SPECIAL REPORT. December 27, 2018. CONOVER, NC — On Thursday, 27 December 2018, at approximately 12:30 p.m., the NC State Highway Patrol responded to and investigated a fatal collision in Catawba County on I-40 East near mile marker 130. A passenger vehicle ran off the road to the right and collided with a light pole. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene and was the only person in the vehicle.
Traffic was delayed for approximately 90 minutes and backed up for over two miles. There were four secondary collisions that occurred in the back-up until the on-scene investigation could be completed and all lanes cleared.
UPDATE #1 (December 28, 2018, 1257 am): The driver in this fatal collision in Catawba County was Scott Randolph Hammett Jr., 59, of Clemmons, North Carolina. He was operating a 2007 Honda Accord. There was a dog in the vehicle that also died as a result of the crash. Mr. Hammett was the Senior Pastor of Clemmons First Baptist Church in Clemmons, North Carolina. The investigation is ongoing, but Troopers are considering the possibility of a medical condition as a contributing circumstance to the collision.