Tractor-Trailer Hits Bridge Support At I-40 Exit
Posted December 29, 2004 5:30 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — A tractor-trailer crashed on eastbound Interstate 40 at the U.S. Highway 70 exit in Garner.
The accident occurred shortly after noon near mile marker 306. Garner police say Timothy Alberts, 48, of Englewood, Colorado, took the Highway 70 East ramp off of eastbound Intestate 40. The truck went off the ramp, slid across the snowy shoulder, then skidded out of control and slammed into the bridge supports.
Police said Alberts may have been eating at the time of the accident. He was not injured. His passenger, James A. Bell, sustained minor injuries, but walked away from the scene.
Officials said the tractor-trailer spilled 75 gallons of diesel fuel on the ground. The fire department had to close the ramp from Highway 70 to eastbound I-40 to clear debris. It was reopened before the evening rush hour.
It is the second time in a month that authorities have responded to an accident at the ramp. On Dec. 3, a
overturned and slammed into the bridge. Explosive materials on board sparked a big fire. No one was hurt.
Despite two tractor-trailers hitting the same bridge a few weeks apart, DOT structural engineers said the bridge is safe.
"That's two shots in less than a month's time to the same location, and it doesn't appear to have any serious damage," DOT engineer Chris McGee said. "They are built very well."
Authorities plan to charge Alberts with speeding.