Neighbors say 'I told you so' after big rig plows through new ro - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Neighbors say 'I told you so' after big rig plows through new roundabout

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SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) -

It's exactly what some neighbors told officials with the state DOT months ago; that a big rig would have trouble with a proposed traffic circle the state wanted to build on Sherrills Ford Road at Briggs Road, and on Monday morning, those predictions came true.

Just before 7 a.m., a big rig from a Mocksville trucking company drove straight through the roundabout and ended up stuck in the mud.

The incident triggered a response from Rowan EMS, the Locke Fire Department, and the Rowan-Salisbury Hazardous Materials Response team.

The traffic circle had just been opened to traffic in the last few days. 

The state had installed large, lighted signs warning drivers that they were approaching the traffic circle, but that didn't stop the truck driver.

WBTV is waiting for additional information from the Highway Patrol on what caused the truck driver to drive into the circle. 

While the front grill and part of the truck's hood was torn off, the extent of any injuries to the driver is not known.

For some neighbors who were standing nearby, this accident was confirmation of what they had feared, and what they had told DOT officials during a public hearing in November. 

While there was support for the idea, many were opposed, specifically citing problems they believed the drivers of big rigs would have negotiating the traffic circle.

In January, the state announced that the roundabout would be created, citing traffic safety studies.

"After a careful study of traffic patterns and accident history, the data show that a roundabout will improve safety at this intersection more effectively than any other option," said Pat Ivey, NCDOT Division 9 engineer. "With 22 accidents and one fatality in five years here, it's critical that we install the most cost-effective, long-term solution to help prevent dangerous crashes, and that's exactly what the roundabout will allow us to do."

Federal Highway Administration data show roundabouts have reduced fatalities by 90 percent and injuries by 76 percent nationwide.

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