11/05/10 — One found dead along highway

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One found dead along highway

By Gary Popp
Published in News on November 5, 2010 1:46 PM

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Highway Patrol Troopers Adam Fowler, Billy Overton and 1st Sgt. Jerry Burton look for clues along U.S. 70 West early this morning. The body of a Jackson Springs man was found in the median by a passer-by. Investigators are considering the case a hit-and-run.

Richard Leon Cook, 53, was found dead in the median of U.S. 70 early this morning, the victim, authorities believe, of a hit-and-run accident.

Cook's body was discovered near the U.S. 70 and Community Drive intersection about seven miles west of Goldsboro at about 7:30 a.m., officials said.

They said evidence indicated the man was struck about 4 a.m.

"It looks like the man exited his vehicle and walked into a lane of U.S. Highway 70 West where he was struck," state Highway Patrol Trooper B. Leonard said. "The body came to a rest in the median."

Law enforcement officials say they have no leads on the vehicle that struck the man, other than it was likely a commercial truck.

"There is absolutely no vehicle debris or skid marks on the highway," Leonard said. "This indicates that the man was struck by a very large vehicle. Smaller vehicles usually leave behind some debris."

Cook, a USDA employee from Jackson Springs, was believed to have been traveling to a work site west of Wayne County.

Law enforcement officials said they are still investigating why he got out of his car.