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Father killed in wreck after driver falls asleep

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KNIGHTDALE — A man fell asleep at the wheel Saturday and crashed head-on into another vehicle, killing another man, troopers said.

Jose Luis Hernandez, 26, of Knightdale told troopers he fell asleep while driving his pickup south on Bethlehem Road just south of Knightdale shortly after 9 a.m., the N.C. State Highway Patrol said.

Hernandez’s truck crossed the center line and hit the car of Joseph Stephen Murphy, 33, of Clayton, who had tried to swerve out of the way. Murphy’s car then ran off the road and hit a parked car.

Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene. His 10-year-old daughter, who was a passenger in the car, sustained serious injuries, as did Hernandez.

Hernandez was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

According to his obituary, Murphy was a hazard waste technician. His wife, Jillian, posted on Facebook that “the greatest man to ever exist passed away saving our daughter’s life.”

His funeral service will be 7:30 p.m. Friday at L. Harold Poole Funeral Home.