- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TARBORO, N.C. (AP) - An off-duty Tarboro police officer was killed Tuesday when the van he was driving collided with an North Carolina Department of Transportation excavator truck in Edgecombe County, police said.

Chief Damon Williams said Charles Johnson, 46, a 24-year veteran of the force, was killed. A statement from the department said the collision happened on N.C. 111 around 8:49 a.m.

State Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said a preliminary investigation shows the truck was traveling east when it crossed the center line into the path of Johnson’s 2008 Honda Odyssey.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Garifo said the driver of the truck, identified as William Allen Harrell II, 29, of Macclesfield, was shaken but not hurt. Garifo said Harrell will undergo the required medical screening.

Gordon said the patrol is investigating the crash and the department said it also will.

Williams said a fund is being established at a local bank for Johnson’s widow and two children.

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