Overturned crane closes parkway access from Cruso

By DeeAnna Haney | Jun 09, 2014

CANTON — Access to the Blue Ridge Parkway via U.S. 276 South is closed as emergency crews work to remove a crane that fell about 50 feet off the side of the road.

Trooper Jordan Parton said the man driving the 120,000-pound crane walked away from the accident with minor injuries and was transported to Mission Hospital.

The driver of the truck was heading down the mountain heading toward Waynesville just North of the Parkway en route to Robbinsville, according to information from Highway Patrol at the scene.

Parton said little information is currently available about the wreck, except that the driver had pulled to a stop off the road to let a car pass. That's when the side of the road gave way, causing the large truck to topple over the side of the mountain, taking about 300 feet of guard rail with it. Large trees stopped the truck after it flipped at least once.

Emergency crews aren't sure exactly how the driver escaped the vehicle or how he's even alive.

"He lucky to be alive that's for sure," said Cruso Fire Department Chief Tim Henson. "This is a first for me. In 26-and-a-half years, that's a first."

The truck driver was following the route provided by a state permit that made it legal for him to be on the road, said Sgt. Hugh Feinberg with the NC Highway Patrol.

The company that owns the crane, called Superior Crane out of Rockingham, was at the site attempting to extract the wrecked crane Tuesday. That section leading to the Parkway will be closed until the vehicle is removed. The Parkway can still be accessed from U.S. Highway 215 and Lake Logan Road.


Comments (3)
Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jun 10, 2014 10:44

             There are a number of problems here.

             1. Skid marks tell me either the brakes on the trailer were not adjusted properly or he was making a panicked attempt to slow down.

             2. This load was at the least an over weight load requiring permits to haul. Probably over-width too. It would have required an escort. It should have required the load be on a certain and particular approved route.

             Where is his escort?

             What does his permit require, if he had one?

              Under what authority was he doing on this road?

               How much damage was done to the road before this point?

                Etc, Etc?


                As a retired truck driver, I can tell you someone or a number of someone's are in deep ....




Posted by: Mike Graham | Jun 10, 2014 14:05

Your headline is miss leading.. The Parkway is not closed. 276 is closed south of Cruso,and your story should have informed readers that they may still access the Parkway via 215 or Lake Logan Road.
I hope you change the headline for the Wed. print publication. Maybe your on line one too.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jun 11, 2014 09:06

                  As it turns out, the driver's permit required him to use 276. This is a major screw-up. Anyone with any knowledge of 276 is well aware that it is not a proper road for such transportation. Besides being narrow and extremely curvy and steep, the bridges nor the pavement are capable of handling large weights such as this load. In fact I believe several bridges are posted with weight restrictions. Anyone with a map can easily see there were other better routes.  Length of route is irrelevant. Certain and concise standards must be followed. Not just for public safety but because a road like 276 even though a US highway, does not meet the standards for such a load.

       Furthermore. The guardrail at this location was very close to the road itself. Anyone with eyes can see that. No one with a lick of sense would  attempt to pull off to let a vehicle go by. Nor would an experienced well trained driver have unevenly adjusted brakes whereby one axle locks up under braking as the picture shows. Especially as the truck shouldn't have been going very fast after cresting the mountain. There should not have been any skid marks at this point let alone the obviously heavy marks left in the picture by one axle.

          There are many people that need to be held accountable.

           We got lucky in that the truck could have wrecked in a much worse place with other people involved.



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