Backup at weigh station played a role in I-85 crash

Backup at weigh station played a role in I-85 crash

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by RAD BERKY / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Rad: RBerky@WCNC.com

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on July 2, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 2 at 6:42 PM

BELMONT, N.C. -- Belmont Police say a backup of trucks trying to get into a weigh station played a role in yesterday's crash on I-85 that sent 10 people to the hospital.
The weight station is just north of the Catawba River Bridge near the Gaston-Mecklenburg County line.
The accident happened on the northbound side of I-85 in Belmont.
"There was a backup from the weight station back across the river bridge into the Belmont city limits," said Belmont Police Chief David James
A tour bus carrying Christian singers Mike and Kelly Bowling started down the hill towards the bridge and the driver suddenly was confronted with trucks stacked-up in his lane.
“He didn't realize that i was such a slow speed until the end,” explained James. “He tried to maneuver to the left and struck the tractor trailer in the rear.”
The North Carolina Highway Patrol operates the weigh station.
A spokesperson told NewsChannel 36 the station was built in 1979 and is now too small to handle the volume of trucks that have to be checked.
The spokesperson said a $300,000 camera system was installed that is supposed to warn those inside when the trucks get backed-up to the highway, but he added trucks get stacked up quickly in peak hours.
Chief James said there had been other accidents caused by trucks that backup out into the highway and he marveled that no one had been killed in yesterday's accident.
The Highway Patrol says it is already looking at two new potential locations to build a new weigh station where there would be more room and longer ramps so something like this does not happen again.
 

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