A Lincoln County Detention Officer lost his life in Catawba County on Sunday, Nov. 24. At approximately 3:40 a.m., the N.C, State Highway Patrol responded to and investigated a fatal collision in Catawba County on N.C. 16 near Balls Creek Road, according to a press release from N.C. State Highway Patrol Master Trooper Jeffrey S. Swagger. A 2004 Cadillac passenger car was traveling north on N.C. 16, had passed several northbound vehicles, and was left of center when it collided head-on with a southbound 2007 Freightliner FedEx Ground tractor-trailer. The Cadillac immediately became engulfed in flames.
The Cadillac was driven by Jonathan Lee Gidney, 26, of Lincolnton. Gidney died at the scene. The Freightliner was driven by Oscar Arnulfo Diaz, 59, of Matthews. Diaz was not injured.
Motor Carrier Enforcement troopers assisted with the investigation. N.C. 16 was closed for approximately 4 hours.
Gidney had been employed by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office since May.
“He was a fine young man,” Sheriff Bill Beam said. “He did an outstanding job.”