Local News

Man falls to death after Beltline collision

Posted November 28, 2009 8:15 a.m. EST
Updated November 28, 2009 3:28 p.m. EST

— A man trying to help others following a wreck along the Interstate 440 Outer Beltline in Raleigh Friday evening fell into Crabtree Creek after trying to avoid another vehicle.

Raleigh police were waiting until the man's family was notified Saturday to release his identity, but police spokesman Jim Sughrue said the victim was 33.

According to the police report on the incident, there were two wrecks in quick succession between Glenwood Avenue and Six Forks Road at about 7 p.m.

The first left a car stopped sideways in the highway. Two cars then hit the first.

Police said three people who saw the crashes stopped to help before emergency personnel arrived.
As on-coming cars tried to swerve to avoid the stopped vehicles, two of those people jumped over a barrier between the westbound and eastbound lanes to get out of the way, not realizing the gap was open below to Crabtree Creek.

View I-440 closed due to wreck in a larger map

One man, an 18-year-old, survived the fall with cuts and bruises, police said. The other fell 70 feet to the creek and died.

It is the second such fatality at that location. In October 2005, Todd Fletcher, 26, fell to his death not realizing that the bridges between the Outer and Inner beltlines were separated by open space.

Police said there is a fence to prevent such falls on the outside edge of the westbound lanes, but no such fence exists between the Outer and Inner beltline.

The highway was closed for about three hours while police re-routed the more than 100 cars that were stuck between those two roads when the wrecks occurred.