Slick spots responsible for wrecks across Triangle

Posted March 18, 2014

A salt truck overturned on Fox Road at Interstate 540 Tuesday morning due to slick conditions.

— Slick bridges were responsible for hundreds of accidents across the Triangle early Tuesday and prompted school officials in Wake, Durham, Orange and Person counties to cancel classes.

Light rain and freezing drizzle fell in many parts of the western Triangle Monday and early Tuesday, prompting the National Weather Service to extend a winter weather advisory for much of central North Carolina until noon Tuesday.

The light glazing of ice produced dozens of wrecks overnight and during the morning commute. Raleigh police responded to 87 wrecks between midnight and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. In Durham, 149 wrecks were reported between 6 p.m. Monday and noon Tuesday.

Slick spots were reported on bridges throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties on Interstates 40, 440 and 540, along with other major North Carolina highways.

One problem area was on I-40 East at Hammond Road. Officials closed several lanes due to a wreck before 7 a.m., and traffic struggled to get through the area for more than two hours.

Officials in Apex, Raleigh and Wake Forest closed bridges on portions of U.S. Highway 64, U.S. Highway 1 and I-40 at different times during the morning commute to prevent wrecks.

Still, dozens of cars ended up in minor wrecks between 6 and 10 a.m.

A CAT bus and tractor-trailer were involved in a wreck on the ramp from Person Street to I-40, closing the ramp for more than an hour.

No passengers were on the bus at the time, but the driver, Sondra McCarter, was stuck on the bus for about 90 minutes because the door was pinned up against a guardrail. No injuries were reported in the wreck.

A truck carrying salt overturned on Fox Road near I-540 at about 7:45 a.m. Raleigh police said the truck began to skid, struck the right guard rail and flipped. The driver, who was not hurt, crawled out of the vehicle after it came to rest.

North Carolina Department of Transportation crews treated trouble spots throughout the area as calls from law enforcement officials came in. Additional crews were dispatched at 4 a.m. Tuesday to help spread salt and sand.

School administrators in Wake, Durham, Orange, Person and Chapel-Hill Carrboro canceled classes Tuesday.

Several other school systems, including Chatham, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Lee and Johnston operated on delays. Classes before 10 a.m. Tuesday at North Carolina State University were also canceled. View a full list of closings and delays.

Temperatures cracked 32 degrees in much of the Triangle at about 10 a.m., and chances for any rain or freezing precipitation will diminish greatly by noon. Daytime highs Tuesday will top out near 40 degrees, about 25 degrees colder than normal for the middle of March.

"Expect some patchy showers during the day," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "This system does not want to give up, but it will be pushed out overnight by our next cold front."

Spotty drizzle is possible again Wednesday morning, but temperatures should be well above freezing overnight. Temperatures will climb into the mid-50s Wednesday afternoon.

Sunshine returns during the second half of the week to push highs back into the mid-60s.


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  • rduwxboy Mar 18, 2014

    "Saw many pick up trucks and SUV's in the ditch. Clueless as to the laws of physics." -Aspenstreet1717

    Smartest comment of the day!

  • Kristin Byrne Mar 18, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The roads were perfectly fine when I left for work at 7:30 this morning. I saw some ice, but I had the common sense to drive slower through slick areas. Got from Cary to Durham in 30 minutes.

  • carolinarox Mar 18, 2014

    Hammon Road? Seriously? If it's a problem area, using the correct street name helps immensley in your job of informing people.

  • Keith Bonham Mar 18, 2014
    user avatar

    Just because you are afraid to stand up for your safety doesn't mean you don't have a choice. The only people that should be out on the roads on mornings like these are police, fire, EMS, doctors and people responsible for treating roads, tree removal and fixing power outages. The rest of you should have the common sense to tell your boss that you will be in when the roads are safe for travel. That big contract or sale is not worth your life!!!

  • sidecutter Mar 18, 2014

    Those salt trucks are top heavy and it would not have taken much speed to flip it when it left the ice and hit un-slick pavement. Cut the driver some slack.

  • Classified Mar 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yeah everybody stayed home due to this crippling weather event. I’m really surprised McCronie hasn't put in for federal disaster relief yet. BTW, I think maybe it’s time for your nap.

  • Justic4All Mar 18, 2014

    How come they are not turning bridges over and under passes into huge pieces of sand paper. Grinds the ice away in 25 cars or less. Take the brine solution that creates slick spots when it is washed away and return it to the ocean.

  • Joseph Smith Mar 18, 2014
    user avatar

    Saw many pick up trucks and SUV's in the ditch. Clueless as to the laws of physics.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 18, 2014

    I'd love to see some cars get speeding tickets when there's ice like this...even if they're not exceeding what's posted on the sign.

    So many people don't realize that max speed is relative to conditions. These are the people in these photos and the one's that we see causing interstate backups.

    They're risk takers who don't care about themselves or others.

  • pooodaddy Mar 18, 2014

    Well that picture is ironic.