VALDESE, NC (WBTV) - Temperatures hovered around the freezing mark early Wednesday morning across the foothills. That, along with a light rain falling spelled trouble in some spots.
While most roads were clear, enough were not. Mineral Springs Mountain Road on the north side of the mountain was coated with a glaze of ice just after 5am. “I just started sliding, I could not control the car,” said Rose Anderson.
She was among almost a dozen people to wind up in ditches or into other cars on the road. Charlie Smith said he has driven the road for 42 years “And this is the slickest I ever seen it.” Even a state trooper’s vehicle was damaged.
A tow truck that had been called to remove some of the already wrecked vehicles started sliding and hit the patrol car. At least four wrecks involving several cars happened in a one quarter mile stretch of the road near the summit. Two people were hurt. One of them was injured when she stepped out of her vehicle and fell in the ice.
EMS crews could not get their ambulance to the injured right away so they shoveled dirt along the road so they could walk in and then took the injured out on a stretcher they could use as a sled, to carefully slide the victim down to the ambulance. A DOT truck arrived and had trouble in the ice as well. It had to drive up the mountain in reverse so it could spread a thick layer of salt ahead of it.
By noon, the ice had cleared the road and with rising temperatures, the road was opened to traffic.