Winter weather brings uptick in accidents
Winter Storm Leon brought slippery road conditions to Durham on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, causing dozens of accidents throughout the county.
A Durham woman was critically hurt just after noon on Wednesday when she lost control on icy Whitfield Road and struck a utility pole on the driver’s side.
N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper R.E. Fort said that Solita Denard, 36, was critically injured. She was taken to Duke University Medical Center for treatment of a serious head injury.
New Hope Fire Department helped extricate Denard from the damaged car.
There were no reports of other serious injuries in other accidents.
From 7 p.m. Tuesday until 10 a.m. Wednesday, Durham police handled 31 accidents within the city limits. Several were single-vehicle accidents, with cars going into ditches or striking poles, said police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.
The night before the storm brought a dusting of snow to Durham, police responded to just nine vehicle accident calls, she said.
In unincorporated Durham, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers dealt with 14 wrecks between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday. Five of those accidents yielded no reports, meaning they didn’t have any injuries and total damage was less than $1,000.
Deputy Paul Sherwin, spokesman for the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, said accidents were spread all over, mostly on primary roads or highways, including the Durham Freeway, Interstate 85, Interstate 40, East Geer Street, Cheek Road, Guess Road and South Miami Boulevard.
“It seems the smaller, secondary roads aren’t a problem,” Sherwin said. “Likely because people are driving slower and being more cautious.”
State troopers in Orange County reported that they handled 19 accidents from about 7 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Josh Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the department responded to four weather-related accidents overnight, but none with serious injuries.
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