A Panera Bread tractor-trailer ran off the side of Interstate 40 early Sunday morning, went down an embankment and overturned, landing onto East Clemmonsville Road and killing the driver, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.
The driver was Leon Lavaughn Baker, 65, of Sophia, N.C., Sgt. J.W. Baity of the N.C. Highway Patrol said.
State troopers responded to a call about the crash at 3:27 a.m. Sunday, Baity said.
Troopers told WGHP/Fox 8, the Winston-Salem Journal’s newsgathering partner, that Baker had just left the Greensboro headquarters when he crashed.
Baity said it was raining early Sunday morning, but state troopers are still investigating what may have contributed to the crash.
State troopers and Winston-Salem police temporarily closed a section of East Clemmonsville Road.
Panera Bread sent out the following statement to media:
“We are shocked and saddened by the passing of a wonderful member of the Panera family. Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time.”
Another tractor-trailer overturned on U.S. 52 near University Parkway on Sunday. The crash happened at 12:35 p.m., according to WGHP/Fox 8.
WGHP/Fox 8 reported that the driver, who has not yet been publicly identified, was taken to the hospital. The driver’s condition was not immediately known. The driver was hauling frozen food.
Winston-Salem police shut down two northbound lanes and one southbound lane of U.S. 52 for several hours Sunday. Crews worked to move the trailer and clean up diesel fuel that had spilled. The roads reopened later Sunday afternoon.