Local News

Employees Want Change to Deadly Intersection

Posted August 27, 2007

— Coworkers of two people killed in a wreck in Durham County last week say they want changes on a stretch of Old Oxford Highway near International Drive.

Those workers watched in horror last Wednesday as a dump truck smashed into a car of carrying AW North Carolina plant employees Harline M. Nebeth, 35, and Shonitta Hall, 31, both of Durham.

"Two of our team members were killed in the accident," said AW Vice President Will Collins. "The other person that was in the back seat is still recovering in the hospital."

"This has certainly been a trauma for our team members, and we're sad that all this has happened," Collins said.

The speed limit is 55 mph in front of the AW plant, in the growing Treyburn Corporation Park. The number of employees, cars and accidents is on the rise.

Collins said he and neighboring businesses expressed concern about the speed limit two years ago.

"We sent notification back in 2005 that we were interested in having this reviewed," Collins said. "And the speed limit has not been reduced."

State Department of Transportation operations engineers said the traffic count on Old Oxford Highway is not high enough for a speed-limit reduction.

The DOT's regional traffic safety engineer, however, said he is conducting a full investigation into the fatal wreck. A five-year crash history is under review, along with a field investigation, which could take up to four weeks.

Collins said he knows his request is one of many, but any change would help – "anything from a caution light to reducing the speed limit," Collins said.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol and the DOT are still investigating the accident.


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  • TheLogicalOne Aug 28, 2007

    After seeing several accidents on the road in front of my house, I informed the Wake County Engineers and the Wake County Sheriff Dept. Too many drivers soar up and down the stretch of road with includes many homes, several subdivisions and several school bus stops during the day. We want the speed limit reduced to 45 mph.

    Wake county said it would take four weeks to review, but it has been over 8 weeks. At least they do review. Where I previously lived in NJ, you would basically be ignored.

    Here in NC I believe citizens concerns are takem more seriously.

  • Slip Kid Aug 28, 2007

    It is a sad event for everyone and my sympathies are with all the families and friends of those involved.

    All roads are inherently 'unsafe' so you cannot change the speed limit or pay for flashing warning lights at every intersection to make up for people's unfortunate driving decisions. Otherwise, we might as well have a universal 25mph limit. We all know how impractical that would be!

    It amazes me how many of my fellow drivers are not paying attention to driving their vehicles and are instead distracted by phones, eating, kids, dogs and all sorts of things that are less important than staying alive.

    Lightning knocking down a tree in the road causes an 'accident'. Pulling out in front of a dump truck or speeding while drinking are crashes caused by the drivers lack of good sense.

  • Junebug Aug 28, 2007

    I think that reducing the speed limit is a good idea. This is a wildlife area and deer are everywhere. I work at AWNC and when I leave work at 1 am, many of our employees and some from the others facilities in this area are way too anxious to get where they are going. Especially on Red Mill Road. Many people are not going to slow down, even if you do lower the speed limit. I do think that this accident, however was preventable, and not related to the speed limit. You just have to be very, very careful. My prayers go out to the families of my co-workers that were killed, the young man in the hospital, and the driver of the dump truck. He must have quite a burden to bear, even if he wasn't at fault. Let me add that whoever you morons are that throw your fast food trash out on Red Mill Road EVERY NIGHT... grow up.

  • mrtwinturbo Aug 28, 2007

    "engineers said the traffic count on Old Oxford Highway is not high enough for a speed-limit reduction"

    Hmm I wonder what the percentage of accidents are? Just because it is not heavily traveled does not mean it is safe!

    If it were me I would go "borrow" some 45MPH signs and post them myself!!

  • angelahughes Aug 28, 2007

    No, I wasn't an eyewitness but I can read the story and it stated that they pulled out and got hit. I just don't think that the driver sped up and hit them on purpose. Also I know from my own experience from driving that road every week that drivers have pulled out in front of me causing me to slam on breaks to avoid hitting them. I do feel bad that they died, but alot of these types of accidents happen all the time becuase people don't pay attention.

  • Pebbles Aug 28, 2007

    Angelahughes good to know you were an eye witness to that specific accident on that day and at that moment and time, that you can comment with such a conviction about the accident and the reasons and the blame for it.

  • angelahughes Aug 28, 2007

    I hate it for the families, but they were too impatient to wait a minute for the dump truck to pass. He had the right away anyway. They just pulled out in front of the dump truck and drivers of dump trucks/tractor-trailers can not stop quick enough and people don't realize how fast someone is going even if it is 55. That speed limit is sufficent for that stretch of road anyway. I travel that road quite a bit and people pull out in front of cars all the time instead of waiting a minute or two for that person to pass. There could be no one for 2 miles back, but they have no regard for themselves or other drivers obviously. It makes me so mad when they do that to me. Does noone have a minute to wait if it means living?

  • Pebbles Aug 28, 2007

    I knew Harline and she left 4 children in this world. The oldest 16 and the youngest 5. She was a Jamaican working hard to make it here. Pray for her children who will have to be displaced as there was no immediate family in the state.
    Please be sensitive about your postings. Thank You.

  • pffftObama Aug 28, 2007

    I agree that the state can seem to have an endless supply of reasoning for doing or not doing something, but I can also see that you have to have some policy in place of when you are going to and are not going to change speed limits, install traffic signals and such. If you don’t have a policy and follow it, you end up with extreme variations in what is legal and what isn’t across the state in what may appear to be similar settings. These types of decisions have to be based on policy and not on greasing the squeaky wheel.

  • 68_polara Aug 28, 2007

    I'm familiar with that intersection, nothing blocks the view from seeing anything traveling 55 or even a little more. We need to to just take our time and instead of trying to judge the speed of a vehicle approaching to decide if it can slow down to avoid a collision just wait until it's clear to enter the roadway. I know it's annoying when some pushy person behind you is honking because they don't want to wait for you to inter a road safely but if you pull out in front of some one they aren't the ones who end up hurt. Ignore them, and if they want to cause a wreck, not an accident, but a wreck they will have their chance once it's their turn to pull out.