Local News

Tractor-Trailer Accident Closed Part Of I-85 For Several Hours

Posted May 17, 2002 6:31 a.m. EDT

— A tractor-trailer accident in Durham closed part of Interstate 85 for several hours Thursday afternoon and forced motorists to look for alternate routes to get to their destinations.

Authorities say a white pickup truck was at a stop on Avondale Drive when a blue van driven by Leila Jeffries of Avalon Drive in Durham hit the truck from behind.

Authorities say the tractor-trailer then hit the blue van and went through a concrete barrier at a bridge near the Avondale Drive exit. At one point, the tractor-trailer was partially hanging off the bridge.

The accident blocked both lanes of Interstate 85 North between the Roxboro Road and Club Boulevard exits in Durham for several hours. Durham police had to re-route traffic onto East Geer Street and Club Boulevard.

Bruce Carpenter of Baptist Road in Durham, who drove the white pick-up truck, was transported to Durham Regional Hospital for treatment of head and back injuries, which did not appear to be life-threatening. Jeffries was treated for minor leg injuries and was not transported to a hospital. The driver of the tractor-trailer, Herman Roberts of Albany, Georgia, was not injured.

The trailer, which was carrying a load of building supplies and other items, remained on the highway until it was removed by road crews.

The tractor-trailer, which is owned by Estes Corporation in Raleigh, was a total loss. The van sustained approximately $3,000 to $4,000 damage and the pickup truck sustained approximately $2,000 damage.

The Department ofd Transportation admits I-85 is outdated with engineering a half century old. The agency said the current construction along the highway will improve the road, but will not be finished until 2007 at the earliest.


Len Besthoff