Local News

DOT To Look At Accident-Prone Stretch Of Highway 401

Posted February 22, 2005 3:35 a.m. EST

— Neighbors claim a stretch of road near Wake Technical Community College is dangerous. They said a pair of very recent accidents proves their point.

On Monday, a

sport utility vehicle

ran into a flat-bed tractor-trailer that was making a U-turn on Highway 401. Clyde Cheek III, the driver of the SUV, died in the accident. On Tuesday, a dump truck ran into a school bus off Highway 401 on Donnybrooke Road.

"The traffic is so heavy on [Highway] 401 that I have to start slowing down about a half-mile before I get to my house to get some respect from the people on the highway," said Carolyn Smith, who lives near Highway 401. "I'm so upset about the man who was killed yesterday about a few feet from my house."

An investigator with the state Department of Transportation will look at the road Tuesday to see what can be done to make it safe. The state Highway Patrol said it plans to step up patrols in the area.

In the summer of 2003, there were four serious wrecks in one week. In September 2004, there was a nine-car pile-up. Last year, the DOT suggested a speed limit of 45 mph in the area. The legally enforced speed limit is 55.