Local News

Raleigh mayor wants DOT review of I-440 barriers

Posted November 28, 2009 5:03 p.m. EST
Updated November 28, 2009 8:49 p.m. EST

— Raleigh's mayor said Saturday that he wants the state Department of Transportation to review part of Interstate 440, where a Willow Springs man fell to his death Friday while trying to help others involved in two wrecks.

The death happened around 7 p.m. along the I-440 Outer Beltline at Glenwood Avenue and Six Forks Road when Carroll Lee Eames Jr., 33, jumped over a barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes to get out of the way of another vehicle.

Eames apparently did not realize there was a gap between the two lanes that opens below to Crabtree Creek, police said. He fell 70 feet to the creek and died. A second man, who also jumped, survived the fall with cuts and bruises.

It is the second such fatality in that location in recent years.

"When an accident like this happens twice, that is an indication that there does need to be some change made," Mayor Charles Meeker said. "I-440 is a North Carolina Department of Transportation Road, and I will ask them on Monday morning to take a look and see what is going on here and see what modification needs to be made."

DOT spokesman Steve Abbott said Saturday that it's the state's policy to review the sites of every fatal wreck to determine if road changes or upgrades are needed.

Following a similar death in October 2005, in which Todd Fletcher, 26, died, the DOT placed a fence on the inside part of the Inner Beltline, but there is no fencing on the inside part of the Outer Beltline, which is where Friday night's victims jumped.

Abbott said the DOT will review Friday's fall involing Eames, but it has to wait for Raleigh police to conclude its investigation.

It's unclear if charges will be filed. The wrecks happened in quick succession, police said. The first left a car stopped sideways in the highway. Two cars then hit the first.

View I-440 closed due to wreck in a larger map