People in the New Hope Community are mourning the death of a well-known farmer and dedicated firefighter.
A farm service truck driven by Donald Gray was struck from behind around 6:30 AM Thursday on the U.S. 70 Bypass between Parkstown Road and the Wayne-Lenoir County Line. Gray was following one of his farm tractors that was heading east on the highway toward La Grange when the vehicle he was driving was struck from behind by an eastbound UPS tractor-trailer. The impact was so severe it caused Gray’s service truck to run off the right shoulder of the road and flip several times. Gray was ejected from the vehicle, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The semi driver wasn’t injured in the crash. El-Roy and New Hope firefighters were in disbelief as they arrived to the scene and discovered it was one of their own that had perished. The accident is under investigation by the State Highway Patrol and the DMV Motor Carrier Officers. Charges are pending based on the outcome of the investigation.
Donald Gray joined the New Hope Fire Department when he turned 17-years-old and has been a dedicated member for over 40 years. He served as chief of the department from 2006 through 2016.