RALEIGH — A Fuquay-Varina driver died Friday evening when his vehicle struck a railroad bridge abutment on Capital Boulevard north of Lane Street and his engine caught on fire, Raleigh police reported.
James Richard Gates Jr., 52, of 909 Mossy Oak Drive, Fuquay-Varina, was traveling north on the 300 block of Capital Boulevard when the accident occurred shortly before 7 p.m., according to a police report. The man was one day shy of his 53rd birthday.
Police estimated the driver's speed at 58 mph when he truck the bridge abutment. The speed limit is 35 mph on that section of road.
Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said Gates, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, was declared dead at the scene.
The crash closed McDowell Street for several hours, but the street was reopened shortly after 10 p.m.