Raleigh police, Highway Patrol respond to more than 260 wrecks
Posted December 17, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh police and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to more than 260 wrecks in Wake, Durham, Granville and Johnston counties between midnight and 8:30 p.m. Raleigh police responded to 203 accidents between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. No serious injuries were reported.
Below-freezing temperatures around the Triangle were enough to freeze the light amount of precipitation that fell on bridges and overpasses. As of 7 a.m., the Raleigh Police department said it responded to 191 crashes, and Highway Patrol troopers took on 179.
No fatalities were reported.
The wrecks temporarily closed or caused heavy delays on many of the major thoroughfares around Wake County, such as Interstates 40, 440 and 540. Police closed off some ramps and bridges to keep drivers off the roads most susceptible to icing.
I-540 toward the Raleigh-Durham International Airport was closed around 7 a.m., and authorities were rerouting traffic to U.S. Highway 70.
But Peggy Beach, spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said crews also closed roads as far west as Interstate 77 in Charlotte.
"It's not just the Raleigh area. It's various places around the state that are having issues," Beach said. "So, we do ask people to be careful. If you have to go out, take extra time and be very, very careful."
Temperatures climbed above freezing around 10:30 a.m. to help melt away the ice.
Highway Patrol Sergeant Michael Baker hazards a guess that most of those hits Saturday morning were preventable.
“Speed’s always the most contributing factor to the area’s collisions when it comes to black ice or any wintry mix that falls on the roadway,” he said. "It's hard to tell, especially during the night and early morning hours when the sun's coming up, it's hard to see those patches of ice."