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.