Snow-slick roads claim one life

Posted March 3, 2010 11:55 a.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2010 7:21 p.m. EST

— Rain, snow and the resulting slush on North Carolina roads proved deadly Tuesday night for a Duplin County woman.

Investigators with the state Highway Patrol said Maria Flores, 44, of Mount Olive, lost control of her car on N.C. Highway 403 just before 11 p.m. It slid off the road and into a tree. Her son, a passenger in the car, was not seriously injured.

Flores’ wreck was the only fatality attributed to the coating of winter weather that blanketed the area in white and led to a slick morning commute for some. Troopers responded to about 161 traffic wrecks across the Triangle overnight, the Highway Patrol said. Several involved vehicles stuck in ditches.

Drivers in Lee and Harnett counties had 3 to 6 inches of snow to navigate.

Tractor trailers jack-knifed and got stuck in snow drifts. One towing company said it pulled out 10 tractor-trailers and just as many cars in a matter of hours.

"These exit ramps are a little slick. They just slid off," tow truck driver Jimmy Douglas said.

Schools across central North Carolina – including those in Wake, Durham, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Hoke and Wilson counties – took the cautious route and opened late.

Lee and Chatham county schools were closed Wednesday.

The snow day came as a disappointment to Meredith Mitchell. "We had to go Saturday two weeks ago, which was a bummer. Now it's gonna cut off on our spring break," she said of yet-to-be scheduled make-up day.

Warmer weather on the way

Most of the snow that fell was melting by mid-afternoon.

"It will be chilly for the next few days, but by the weekend temperatures should be at or above normal for this time of year," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

There is no more rain or snow in the short-term forecast either. "We have a really quiet period setting up," he said.