Traffic accident

A Volvo station wagon with no roof, foreground, blocks the eastbound lane Thursday while a Honda Accord sit up on the rail of the westbound lane of the Morehead City-Beaufort high-rise bridge over Newport River. (Dylan Ray photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — The Newport River high-rise bridge was the location of a pair of major accidents Thursday morning that snarled traffic going both directions for hours.  

The initial accident, which happened at around 8:16 a.m., involved four vehicles, according to Morehead City Communications Director Alizé Proisy.  

“The driver of a white wagon was driving east on the bridge and crossed the center line into the west bound lane and hit a white SUV, which caused the SUV to hit a van,” Ms. Proisy wrote in a press release about the accidents. “The white wagon continued on to collide with a second car.”

All drivers and passengers were taken to Carteret Health Care and are currently in stable condition.

The collision shut down traffic going both ways and the bridge wasn’t reopened until 10 a.m.

Less than an hour later, at 10:45 a.m., a second crash occurred, this time involving three vehicles.

“Police say traffic was moving slowly westbound, and a speeding (Volkswagen) swerved into oncoming traffic and ran into a large truck and trailer.”

The driver of the Volkswagen was the only person who sustained injuries. They are in stable condition at CHC, according to Ms. Proisy.

For the second time Thursday morning, police had to shut down both east and westbound traffic. During both bridge closures, authorities designated Mill Creek as a detour for drivers.

After almost two hours, at 12:40 p.m., the high-rise bridge reopened.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation inserted stop-gap railing for the area that sustained damage. The department plans on returning to insert a permanent fix at a later date.

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

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