02/27/07 — 3-car pileup at disputed intersection

View Archive

3-car pileup at disputed intersection

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on February 27, 2007 1:52 PM

Three vehicles were involved in a wreck Tuesday morning at an intersection that has been a source of argument for state officials and residents over the past few months.

Although no one was hurt in the accident at the intersection of U.S. 70 and the Village of Walnut Creek entrance, nearby residents said they forewarned state and local officials that more accidents would happen in the area because of construction of a directional crossover at U.S. 70 and Beston Road.

Transportation workers had limited eastbound traffic to one lane Tuesday morning while expanding the highway's lanes near the Walnut Creek entrance.

Although a North Carolina Highway Patrol report was not complete as of press time, De Strang said she was traveling eastbound on U.S. 70 and witnessed the accident when it occurred.

Mrs. Strang said a Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling eastbound in front of her when a Chevrolet S-10 truck pulled out from the Walnut Creek exit. The truck hit the Tahoe, which spun out and struck a North Carolina Department of Transportation truck, she added.

No one was injured in the accident, but nearby residents believe Tuesday's accident is the first of many more.

Several local property and business owners have met with state transportation officials twice in the past month and with the Wayne County commissioners last week to decry the changes at the intersection.

Many residents said it will create more problems at Beston Road and other intersections because a directional crossover is intended to prohibit traffic from directly crossing the highway.

Transportation officials have used the construction of a directional crossover at Piney Grove Church Road as an example of how safe the change is. Although officials said accidents have decreased since the construction of that directional crossover, Mrs. Strang said she sees otherwise every day.

"I see people every morning that try to cut across the intersection instead of doing what they're supposed to do," she said.

Mrs. Strang said she believes the problems will continue at Beston Road.

"I hate to say that we need a light. I like the idea that I can go from Goldsboro to Kinston without a stoplight, but we need a way for people to stop and slow down," she said.

Since construction began in November on the directional crossover at Beston Road, local residents and property owners have told county commissioners and state transportation officials that they also believe a solution is a stoplight to slow down traffic that usually drives over the speed limit. There have been almost 100 accidents at U.S. 70 and Beston Road in the past several years, including several fatalities.

But state transportation officials have discussed the construction of a directional crossover at Beston Road with highway patrol officers and both parties believe that a stoplight would cause more rear-end accidents.