Local News

Motorists Tackle Tough Task Of Swerving Through Roadway Debris

Posted September 26, 2000

— Debris always seems to find its way onto roadways. The problem is that it is often located in the center of the road. If traffic is heavy, drivers may not have a choice but to hit the debris and hope for the best. It is the state's responsibility to keep the roads clear.

A 23-year-old woman died when she hit a mattress on Interstate 40 in Winston-Salem. In Durham County Monday, roadway debris caused a 10-car pileup along I-40 near RDU International

One day, Shannon Casselbury found herself heading straight for a Christmas tree.

"I didn't have much choice. There were cars on the side of me, and I didn't have much choice but to run over it," she says. "Luckily, I was in a tall enough vehicle that it didn't do any damage."

The job of keeping the roads clear falls under theN.C. Department of Transportation.

Jerry Linder, DOT spokesman, says it sometimes takes 10 to 15 minutes to get something out of the road because of speeding cars.

"It's a dangerous situation. You've got to be real careful," he says. It's like a ping-pong ball out there sometimes."

Linder says the most common things are tire treads and furniture, but one time, a box of nails in the road caused a big traffic headache.

"Going 65 miles an hour down the road, and it hits the road all over the place. People have got them all up in their tires," he says.

The DOT asks that motorists who come across debris in the road call theN.C. Highway Patrolat*HPon their cell phones or dial911.

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