RODANTHE, N.C. -- The highway that connects Hatteras Island with the mainland reopened Sunday to 4-wheel-drive traffic during daylight hours only after being closed while authorities investigated an accident that killed a state Transportation Department worker.
The accident on N.C. 12 south of the Bonner Bridge closed the road for several hours early Sunday. It occurred where crews were removing sand after Hurricane Sandy and a nor'easter.
DOT identified the employee Michael Brad Stevenson, 36, of Hertford, who had worked for the department for about 15 years. The accident involved Stevenson and another employee, who was injured. Both were operating dump trucks in the early morning hours.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Stevenson family during this extremely difficult time," said DOT Secretary Gene Conti. "The men and women who work to keep N.C. 12, and all of our highways, safe and open for travel are special people."
Stevenson is survived by his wife and their three children.
The dump truck driven by Stevenson rear-ended one sitting in the road that was driven by Ronnie Allen Anderson, 45, said Highway Patrol Trooper William Harrison. Anderson's truck had broken down on the highway, and a mechanic had just arrived to repair it when the accident occurred, Harrison said.
Stevenson's truck caught fire, and he was killed. Anderson was injured and taken to a hospital in Norfolk, Va.
The highway had just reopened Saturday to 4-wheel-drive vehicles. DOT closed it for several hours after the wreck. The road now is open now only during daylight hours and still limited to those vehicles One lane is open in each direction, except at the temporary bridge and the Bonner Bridge, where's a single lane.
Hatteras Island also is accessible by ferry, either from Swan Quarter to Ocracoke Island to Hatteras, or by an emergency ferry from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe. DOT began running the emergency route again after Hurricane Sandy damaged N.C. 12 last month.
But that route is running on an amended schedule due to a mechanical problem with one of the ferries. A ferry will depart Stumpy Point every two hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday. Departures from Rodanthe will also occur every two hours, between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
DOT will offer extra departures from each side on its Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route this coming weekend, Nov. 16 through Nov. 18. The extra weekend runs will continue until N.C.12 reopens north of Rodanthe and the emergency ferry route is deactivated.