Icy roads cause hundreds of Triangle crashes

Posted January 23, 2016 7:11 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2016 4:37 p.m. EST

— With temperatures failing to rise above freezing overnight, icy roads continued to plague the Triangle on Sunday morning.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory, which was lifted at noon.

North Carolina Highway Patrol said two more people died in car crashes related to winter weather, bringing the total number of fatalities since Wednesday to six.

A 19-year-old girl died in Hickory, and a 6-year-old was killed in a wreck on Interstate 77 in Iredell County.

Two-thousand crashes have occurred across North Carolina, including 406 collisions on Saturday alone, since the storm began on Wednesday, according to N.C. Highway Patrol.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, authorities said 173 collisions, and 234 calls for service, had been reported in Wake County since midnight.

For the second consecutive day, Interstate 95 in Johnston County shut down early in the day due to the treacherous conditions.

A Ford Mustang slammed into a tractor-trailer on I-95 near mile marker 98 in Johnston County around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Authorities said crews were working to clear a separate incident when the Mustang hit a guardrail and crashed into the tractor-trailer. Two people were trapped inside the vehicle for 25 minutes but were unharmed, officials said.

Interstate 95 was reopened around 1:15 p.m.

The intestate was closed for a few hours Friday evening due to downed ice covered power lines. During cleanup, a deputy was hit by a “suspected” drunk driver. Officials said the deputy was taken to a local Smithfield hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Durham officials said more than 100 department and contractor trucks and graders have been working on more than 1,000 miles of interstate and highways in Wake County and 360 lane miles in Durham County.

Trucks have dumped a total of 4,600 tons of salt since early Friday morning, officials said.

Steve Abbott, a spokesman with North Carolina Department of Transportation, said the department will be scaling back efforts Saturday night after 48 hours straight of treatment.

Abbott said crews and contractors will return Sunday morning to hit trouble spots with salt and sand, since treatment may not be as effective with temperatures dropping into the low 20s.

“You can’t plow ice,” he said.

The NCDOT is planning to have extra crews from coastal communities aid with the treatment of residential and secondary in Durham and Wake County.