U.S. 13 reopens after accident

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 12, 2005

WINDSOR – An early morning accident near here Friday cause a nightmare for those traveling along one of the Roanoke-Chowan area’s busiest thoroughfares.

Traffic was detoured for over 50 hours along a stretch of U.S. 13 in Bertie County after a tractor-trailer crashed into a bridge, overturned and spilled a portion of its contents.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Jason L. Cash charged William Carl Harless, 62, for driving left of center. Harless’ rig – a 2000 Freightliner owned by Univar USA, Inc. of Suffolk, Va. – was listed as a total loss.

According to Cash’s accident report, Harless was operating his vehicle south on U.S. 13 at approximately 4:45 a.m. Friday. The truck ran off the right side of the road and impacted a guardrail before swerving back across the roadway where it struck the bridge rail and another guardrail prior to overturning.

The accident occurred near the intersection of U.S. 13 and N.C. 305, approximately 2.5 miles north of Windsor.

Due to repair work on the bridge as well as cleaning-up an approximate 200 gallons of sodium hyperchloride that spilled from the vehicle, U.S. 13 was closed between the Buena Vista crossroad and the White Oak Road. Traffic was re-routed off U.S. 13 at Buena Vista to Askewville and onto the White Oak Road back out to U.S. 13.

Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins said the spilled liquid was not extremely toxic, but safety precautions were used.

&uot;It (the liquid) was safe to walk across, but it’s not something you want to leave soaking in the ground,&uot; Atkins said.

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials reopened U.S. 13 to traffic on Sunday.

State Highway Patrol officials issued thanks to the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office for traffic control in and around the crash site.