RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina troopers reported handling nearly 50 traffic crashes early Friday as a winter storm began to spread across the state, including one that caused a major interstate backup.
Crews spent several hours trying to pick up a tractor-trailer that flipped over on the side of the road on Interstate 40 near the Wade Avenue exit in Raleigh. The incident shut down multiple lanes of the highway.
The Raleigh Police Department is still investigating but confirmed that the incident wasn’t related to the ice on the road. They say preliminary information shows the driver fell asleep.
It’s just one of the crashes law-enforcement agencies responded to early Friday.
“From midnight to 7 a.m. we started out with a busy morning. We’ve already had statewide 113 calls for service and 48 collisions,” said Sgt. Marcus Bethea with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
He said more than a dozen of those crashes were in the Raleigh area.
“Much of this is circumstantial, not necessarily directly because of the weather, but we have had some intermittent slick spots out there on the roadways,” Bethea said.
Sunday’s weather led to more than 400 collisions statewide. Bethea said this weekend the highway patrol will have extra troopers on interstates, state highways and roads.
“We do anticipate to see higher traffic volume in those areas and we, of course, intend to monitor those areas as effectively as we can,” said Bethea.
The highway patrol continues to urge people to avoid driving on the roads during icy conditions. If you do have to drive, drive with caution and stay alert.