Published: 2010-12-17 07:25:00
Updated: 2010-12-17 09:33:49
Posted December 17, 2010 7:25 a.m. EST
Updated December 17, 2010 9:33 a.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Snowy and icy roads were to blame for at least three wrecks on central North Carolina roads Thursday morning, authorities said.
Larry Raines, 50, of Sanford, was on his way home from work in Fayetteville when a truck, driven by Israel Beltran, 39, collided head-on with his Corvette.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Beltran lost control of his vehicle on Elliott Bridge Road when he drove over black ice. Beltran’s truck ran off the road, and he jerked back onto the road into Raine’s car, authorities said. Charges are pending.
In Duplin County, Michael Fillmore Waller, 65, of Deep Run, died in a similar collision on N.C. Highway 11, near Pink Hill. Another death happened in Robeson County, authorities said, although further details weren't available Tuesday evening.
State troopers said that they responded to 270 wrecks in Wake and Johnston counties by Thursday night.
Raleigh police said they handled another 100 wrecks by late afternoon – double the usual number. Officers were also called out to help about 40 motorists who were stuck or had disabled vehicles.
A wintry mix of snow, freezing rain and rain fell across central North Carolina most of Thursday morning with the hardest-hit area being the northern Interstate 95 corridor.
I-95 traffic in Johnston County was slow for more than two hours as authorities responded to multiple wrecks between Smithfield and Benson. There were injuries reported in each of those wrecks, authorities said.
Fayetteville police closed the Cliffdale Road bridge over the All-American Freeway because of an icy stretch that caused a number of wrecks, including an overturned vehicle.
In Raleigh, at one point, wrecks partially closed Interstate 440, near Lake Boone Trail, and Interstate 40 West at U.S. 70 Business.
Five people were taken to WakeMed with non-life-threatening injuries after the driver of an SUV lost control on East Garner Road in Wake County, troopers said.
Treacherous road conditions prompted hundreds of school and businesses to close or delay operations Thursday.
The Wake, Durham, Cumberland, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Chatham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Nash, Person, Orange, Vance, Warren and Wayne county school systems were closed Thursday, while others delayed opening by two hours.
North Carolina Central University was also closed, and North Carolina State University pushed back its morning exams.
As of Thursday evening, more than 300 closings and delays for Friday had been reported.