Ice-prone area is a hazard

Black ice causes wreck on Dellwood Road
By DeeAnna Haney | Feb 07, 2013
Photo by: Audrey Gaddis A state trooper inspects a wreck that occurred on Dellwood Road Wednesday when a driver hit black ice.

Standing water and black ice on a section of Dellwood Road has caused several accidents in the past couple weeks following rain and freezing temperatures.

One accident Wednesday sent two men to the hospital after hitting black ice on the road.

Mike Gaddis was driving toward Maggie Valley around 9 a.m. when he hit the ice in front of the Dish Barn, said his wife, Audrey Gaddis.

The ice caused him to slide and spin his Ford Ranger across the opposite lane, hit an oncoming Jeep Cherokee and land on his side near the parking lot of the Dish Barn.

Emergency crews had to cut the top of the truck off to remove him from the wreckage and both drivers were taken to the hospital.

Although their injuries were minor, Gaddis said it could have been much worse.

Emergency workers and passersby told her that the area was known for causing wrecks.

"It made me mad because I came very close to losing my husband that day," she said.

Earlier that morning, Gaddis said she saw a Jeep Wrangler lose traction and spin around in her rear view mirror in that same area.

"If it continues somebody's going to get killed," she said.

Julia Casadonte, communications officer for NCDOT, said that standing water occurs in that area because of a previous landslide. DOT built a concrete barrier near the roadside at the base of the embankment to prevent further sliding, but "the ground naturally holds water at that site," she said.

State crews salted the road and placed a barrier up following the wreck Wednesday. Otherwise, DOT keeps a watchful eye on the problem area, Casadonte said.

Charles Wood, fire chief at the Junaluska Fire Department, said there was another wreck a few weeks ago. The water sometimes extends across all four lanes of traffic, he said, and drivers should use caution in that area, especially when there is rain and freezing temperatures.