Slick spots expected to be big issue Wednesday morning

Posted February 24, 2015
Updated February 25, 2015

— Slick roads resulted in multiple accidents across central North Carolina Tuesday night and are expected to remain slippery Wednesday morning.

While many of the Triangle's major roads were cleared of snow late Tuesday afternoon, black ice coated bridges and led to wrecks throughout the region, including:

  • Interstate 95 was closed in both directions at mile marker 98, near Selma, and then northbound lanes were closed at mile marker 107, near Kenly, due to vehicle wrecks.
  • New Bern Avenue between Corporation Parkway and Rogers Lane in Raleigh was briefly blocked due to multiple wrecks.
  • On Interstate 40, multiple cars were spun off the road near Harrison Avenue in Wake County, and two vehicles lost control on a bridge in Johnston County and ran into a guardrail. One person suffered minor injuries in the latter wreck.
  • Buffaloe Road was closed between Willow Creek Drive and Westminster Drive in Raleigh due to an accident.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to more than 2,000 wrecks on Tuesday. {{a href="blogpost-14467992"}}Troopers typically respond to about 1,000 accident calls statewide in a 24-hour period{{/a}}.

Speed was cited as a contributing factor in three fatal accidents, including one on U.S. Highway 64 near Rolesville Road in Wake County at about 10:10 a.m. and another on Harris Creek Road near Nelson Park Road in Onslow County at about noon. Mauricio Anala-Hernandez, 55, of 813 Golden Horseshoe Lane in Sanford, was killed in the Wake County crash, authorities said.

Fayetteville police investigated more than 60 accidents between 7 a.m. and noon.

Raleigh police handled 266 accidents between 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Raleigh officers handled 23 during the same time span last Tuesday.

Tuesday's snow caught state Department of Transportation crews off guard.

“Crews had planned to be out today brining the major highways, bridges and overpasses in anticipation of a small amount of snow that was expected later this afternoon, and a possible several inches heading this way tomorrow night,” the department said in a statement. “Instead, today’s snow came about 10 hours earlier than expected, and all those plans changed.”

More than 100 workers used 75 trucks to spread salt and sand across Triangle roads. In some areas, brine was spread on top of snow to help it melt faster.

Officials hope Wednesday’s weather – sunshine with temperatures in the low 40s – will help melt enough of Tuesday’s snow so crews can brine roadways before another round of forecast winter weather.

In any winter storm, DOT crews focus first on interstates and other primary, divided, four-lane highways, then other U.S. and N.C. highways, then secondary roads.

In Wake County, getting to all those roads takes time.

“It is not a process that can be done quickly, as Wake County has more state road lane mileage than any county in North Carolina, at more than 5,710 lane miles of interstate, primary and secondary roads,” the department said. “Durham County has close to 1,700 lane miles.”

DOT officials offered these driving tips:

  • Approach bridges and overpasses them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary.
  • If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.
  • Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop.
  • If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the state highway patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement by dialing 911. Only call 911 for emergencies, not to check on road conditions.

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  • Aaron Phillips Feb 25, 2015
    user avatar

    People....SLOW. DOWN. Everyone seems to think it's a contest to prove how "northern" they can act when it snows and just go ridiculous speeds. SLOW. DOWN. It's just not worth only get 100 years to live out of a 13.5 billion year old universe, why cut it short by trying to get to work where all you're going to do is waste more of your precious, short time anyway??!

  • Vera McGraw Feb 24, 2015
    user avatar

    11 pm - coming from Raleigh to Durham on 40 and 147. I-40 in Wake Cty is worst than in Durham....a lot of slush which will freeze overnight. Take care....slow down and do not assume that the roads are ok to drive at the speed limit or more.

  • Mike C Feb 24, 2015
    user avatar

    And yet, stupid people still out there trying to drive.