Icy Tar River Bridge In Pitt County Contributes To Wreck

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Freezing rain and some icy conditions greeted drivers as they returned to work after Christmas.

There was a winter weather advisory in place Thursday morning for Durham, Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Orange, Wake, and Wilson counties.

In Pitt County, dispatchers say the bridge over the Tar River on Highway 222 east of Falkland was closed due to icing. An accident with no injuries happened on the bridge around 8:00 a.m.

Troopers say the driver hit an icy spot, slid some 300 feet and then struck the side of the concrete bridge. Darrell Mitchell was charged with exceeding safe speed.

The bridge was open around 9:00 a.m. after D.O.T. crews treated the highway.

The North Carolina DOT said an accident also closed all lanes of Interstate 40 near exit 266, NC 86, and Chapel Hill.

Freezing rain is expected until late morning closer to I-40, creating slick patches along roads, bridges, and overpasses. Suggested detours are posted below.

Meteorologist Jim Howard said the freezing rain conditions will be confined primarily to areas north of highway 264 through about 10:00 am.

The DOT has suggested the following detours for drivers who will need to avoid the part of I-40 that is closed for the early part of the morning:

- Motorists traveling on I-40 East may wish to take Exit 259, I-85 and head North. Follow I-85 North to Exit 165, NC-86. Follow NC-86 West to re-access I-40.

- Motorists traveling on I-40 West may wish to take Exit 266, NC-86 and head East. Follow NC-86 to I-85 North, and cross over I-85. Access the I-85 North on-ramp on the left. Motorists will continue on I-85 North to re-access I-40.