FOREST CITY — A father checking on his son’s early morning car crash was killed when a truck slammed into the back of his vehicle, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Around 5:30 a.m. Thursday, Fredantzay Trejo, 28, wrecked his vehicle in the westbound lane of U.S. Highway 74 between Ellenboro-Henrietta and Old Caroleen roads. It is believed he may have fallen asleep while returning home from work, said trooper J.K. Henderson.

Frederico Trejo, 57, of Forest City, traveled to the crash site to check on his son, parking in the right lane of westbound U.S. Highway 74. A third vehicle, a box truck, driven by Alton Eakin, 28, of Charlotte, then slammed into the back of the father’s vehicle with both stationary cars plowing into the father and son who were standing on the right shoulder of the highway, Henderson said.

The elder Trejo was killed from the impact of the careening wreckage while the son suffered a critical leg injury. He was airlifted to Spartanburg Medical Center with his injuries. His injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, the trooper said.

Eakin suffered minor injuries from the crash.

The fatal crash left the highway’s westbound lanes closed to morning traffic while troopers investigated.

The crash is still under investigation.