Leonard Yates Jr., 53, operator of the Mountain View Bakery, died following the crash about 5:40 a.m. on Highway 107, near Jackson Bridge Road, Washington County 911 Dispatch said.
Icy road conditions throughout the area may have contributed to the wreck, which is being investigated by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
The crash closed Highway 107, also known as the Erwin Highway, for several hours.
“A preliminary investigation shows it wasn’t the fault of the truck driver,” sheriff’s Lt. Edwin Graybeal III said.
The Toyota Camry Yates was driving hit a patch of ice and slid into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer, Graybeal said.
The cause of the wreck “looks like it is road conditions,” although it remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Crash Team, he said.
The truck driver’s name was not available late this morning. He was not injured in the crash, Graybeal said.
Employees of Mountain View Bakery, 495 Mitchell Road, Chuckey, were shocked to hear the news. Yates was on his way to work when the crash occurred, said bakery employee Scott Morrison.
The news is still sinking in with employees and customers of Mountain View Bakery, Morrison said.
Yates lived in Erwin with his wife, Rhonda.
The bakery may be closed for a few days later this week, depending on arrangements for Yates, Morrison said.