06/04/10 — Former Pikeville resident killed on highway

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Former Pikeville resident killed on highway

By Laura Collins
Published in News on June 4, 2010 1:46 PM

A former Pikeville resident and business owner was killed early Thursday morning in Maryland.

Ghassen "Gus" Sabra, 52, was stuck and killed by a vehicle around 1 a.m. while on Route 50 in Anne Arundel County, Md.

The vehicle fled the scene. Sabra's body was then struck again by a tractor trailer as he was lying in the second lane of the highway. The driver of the tractor trailer, a 2006 Volvo owned by Trinity Transport of Asheboro, was driven by Ricky Beasley, 51, of Mount Olive, who remained at the scene. No charges were filed against the tractor trailer driver.

Sabra worked for Sabra, Wang and Associates Inc., a company under contract with the Maryland State Highway Administration to conduct traffic surveys. According to the police report, Maryland State Police believe Sabra was either deploying or retrieving traffic counting equipment when he was struck by the first vehicle and thrown into the second lane. Sabra was wearing reflecting gear and a light was activated on the top of his pickup truck parked nearby on the highway shoulder. Police are still looking for the first driver, but as of Thursday afternoon there was no description of the first vehicle that struck him.

Word on Sabra's death spread fast to Pikeville Thursday. Sabra, who owned Quick Pic in Pikeville until a few years ago, was well-liked by those who knew him.

"He was a very nice man," Mayor Johnny Weaver said.

Weaver remembers working at the gas station across the street from the store, which at the time was owned by Sabra's father.

"You couldn't have asked for anyone to be more friendly than he was. He was always very approachable, courteous, humble. And anyone I know didn't have anything bad to say about him," Weaver said.

News had also spread to town hall, according to Michelle Singleton, town clerk, who said a few residents had come in to report the news.

"We were all just dismayed and saddened to hear it," she said. "Everybody knew him. He was just a very nice gentleman."