RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Dozens of collisions were reported Friday as snow and ice hit central North Carolina, and I-40 in Johnston County was closed in both directions by downed power lines late Friday afternoon.
More than 70 collisions were reported Friday as snow and ice hit central North Carolina, said Lt. Jeff Gordon with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Gordon said most of those collisions occurred between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
One person was killed in a wreck on Interstate 95 in Johnston County just after 8:15 a.m. Friday, authorities said.
A tractor-trailer, operated by Jason Michael Moore, 39, of Houston, Texas, was traveling south on I-95 when he lost control and jackknifed, blocking both southbound lanes of I-95 near mile marker 105, authorities said. A pick-up truck, operated by Gwendolyn May Elder, 70, of Colonial Heights, Virginia, was traveling south on I-95 when it struck the jackknifed tractor-trailer. The driver of another tractor-trailer also traveling south on I-95 avoided striking the jackknifed truck and pick-up by traveling off onto the southbound shoulder, striking a guard rail.
As a result of the collision, a passenger in the pick-up truck, identified as Larry Stevens Elder, 65, of Colonial Heights, Virginia, was killed.
Gwendolyn Elder was transported to WakeMed in Raleigh with serious injuries. Mr. and Mrs. Elder were husband and wife.
Both directions of I-95 in that area were closed, but were back open as of 11 a.m. Friday.
By late Friday afternoon, the conditions were improving somewhat. A spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation said the precipitation moving to rain had helped.
“Some of the roads are clear,” he said. “The precipitation turning into rain has helped a lot.”
Durham Police said 18 traffic accidents were reported within the city limits of Durham since midnight. Police said many of these accidents involved only one vehicle sliding off the road due to icy conditions. No serious injuries were reported.
Another wreck happened in Durham on Interstate 85 around noon, police said. A section of I-85 northbound near Guess Road was shut down after an SUV lost control in front of a FedEx tractor-trailer which caused the truck to jackknife across the road. No one was injured and the northbound lanes of I-85 reopened shortly after 1 p.m.
Raleigh Police responded to 27 accidents Friday morning as snow and ice hit the Triangle.
The Durham County Sheriff’s Office reported four vehicle accidents on Friday as of 1:30 p.m. There were no serious injuries.
In Southern Pines, an accident involving a tractor-trailer temporarily closed one lane of U.S. Highway 1. The accident happened around 8:40 a.m. in the northbound lane. Highway Patrol said the tractor-trailer ran off the road, hitting a large Department of Transportation sign, The Aberdeen Times reported.
The truck driver was not seriously hurt in the crash.