Local News

Icy Roads Cause More Than 300 Wrecks

Posted January 23, 2005 8:02 a.m. EST

— A wild weather week was capped Saturday with an ice storm that caused more than 300 car wrecks throughout the Triangle.

Freezing rain on roads -- especially on bridges and overpasses -- caused numerous wrecks. Durham police said they responded to 160 accidents from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

A North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesperson said troopers responded to about 150 accidents on Saturday.

The Durham Freeway and Interstate 540 were hardest hit. At noon Saturday, the Highway Patrol reported wrecks at every exit on I-540. Some overpasses on the Durrham Freeway were closed at times. Part of Interstate 85 was closed for part of the day on Saturday.

In Orange County, the N.C. 54 overpass near Smith Level Road was closed for some time because of severe ice.

The freezing rain mainly affected areas north of Raleigh, with the freezing temperature line cutting right through the city.

"Its not great," on the roads, said Chris McGree, of the North Carolina DOT. "But its not the worst we've seen -- Wednesday was the worst."

The inclement weather forced Wake County officials to reschedule SATs set for the weekend at Broughton, Enloe and Millbrook high schools. The new date is Feb. 5.

Officials at Smithfield-Selma Senior High and Orange High School in Hillsborough have also canceled Saturday's test. No make-up dates have been announced. Parents are asked to call ahead if your child has a test scheduled at other locations.