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Accident Draws Attention to Dangerous Bridge

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Thousands of cars cross this bridge everyday, a bridge that many say is in need of repair.
SMITHFIELD — Two accidents in one week near an old bridge on Raleigh Road now have the Department of Transportation's attention. Gina Hall missed the bridge, flipped her car and landed in a creek. Her daughter, 21-month old Taryn Hall, was submerged in a car for over 10 minutes. Taryn's two sisters and another boy didn't survive. Somehow, she and her mother did.

"She's what's gotten my through this," Gina Hall explains. Her husband, Mike, believes Toni and Taylor Hall were up in Heaven the whole time cheering their sister on.

The Halls are thankful to the community for it's support. And they support a petition drive to update the bridge and approach road where the accident happened.

A Board of Transportation member is trying to move up the bridge's 2003 replacement date. Durwood Stephenson says Johnston County's development and growth has exploded in the past few years. Some 2000 cars per day cross the bridge in question.

Over 1,000 people have signed petitions asking the state to make the bridge safer. Stephenson hopes work on the bridge can begin late this year or in 1999, but he's making no promises.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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