Lexington, NC -- A South Lexington volunteer firefighter was killed in a car crash on Sunday. Highway Patrol officials believe the accident was caused by wet weather conditions that led to the death of 24-year-old, Matthew Bailey.
Officials said 30-year-old, Nicholas Daniel Antonucci crashed into Bailey's car on N.C. 47 sometime before 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Troopers said Antonucci was traveling east on the highway, when he lost control of his orange Ford pick-up truck. They believe, he crossed the center line before he crashing into Bailey's vehicle.
The speed limit posted on N.C. 47 is 55 mph according to Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Bowick. He doesn't believe Antonucci was traveling near the posted speed, but the weather conditions, speed, and the truck's worn out tires played a factor in the crash.
Bailey was a volunteer firefighter for five years at station 46. Darren Kirkus, Fire Chief at the South Lexington Fire Department said Bailey's death is a great loss. "He always carried a smile on his shoulders. He inspired us all," said Chief Kirkus.
"He always had a positive outlook on life. It didn't matter. He was going to come in here smiling. This was his home away from home," said John Pate, a South Lexington volunteer firefighter.
Bailey's family described him as "happy go lucky". He leaves behind a 4-month-old boy.
Antonucci is charged with Misdemeanor Death By a Motor Vehicle, Exceeding a Safe Speed for Road Conditions, Driving With Unsafe Tire Tread and Crossing The Center Line.
No court date has been set. No more details are available, as the crash is still under investigation.