Wrecks cause big traffic jam in Havelock

Two people were injured in a five-car crash on U.S. 70 this morning

A Havelock Police officer sweeps up debris following a five-car crash on U.S. 70 this morning.

Drew C. Wilson
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 08:08 AM.

U.S. 70 was more parking lot than highway for about two hours Tuesday morning in western Havelock after a series of four crashes sent three people to the hospital and caused a massive rush-hour traffic jam.

“Seven o’clock in the morning in that area is always heavily traveled,” Havelock Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus said of U.S. 70. “There’s always a lot of traffic there.”

That combination of heavy traffic and the first crash may have led to the three others. Cyrus said police continue to investigate the causes of the three other crashes that happened between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. along U.S. 70 between the Slocum Road turn to the back gate at Cherry Point and the Tucker Creek subdivision.

“It’s a matter of being cautious as operators and of being aware of what’s going on around them,” Cyrus said. “There were several factors that were the likely cause of all four of the accidents. You get those who likely want to see what’s going on and they fail to pay attention. Until we get the full report on those other crashes, we just don’t know.”

The first crash happened on U.S. 70 at the Walmart traffic signal shortly before 7 a.m. Cyrus said Jerry Warren, 43, of Pikeville, was driving a tractor trailer east when the light turned yellow. Cyrus said Warren explained that he was not able to stop in time because of the speed and weight of the truck.

Cyrus said Warren collided with Travis Lewis Jr., 52, of New Bern, who was attempting to pull his 2003 Ford from the service road onto U.S. 70. Cyrus said Lewis indicated that his traffic signal had turned green, and a pair of witnesses gave conflicting accounts as to the status of the light at the time of the crash.

Lewis was transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern where he was treated and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.



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