Victim demands answers after horrific car crash in Watauga County

Brian Bergin says he was involved in a bad car crash at the notorious crossing and wants something done before someone else gets seriously hurt.
Issues stem from there being one stoplight in the area, and drivers develop tunnel vision along the long stretch, especially when the weather.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - An accident waiting to happen. That’s how one driver describes a dangerous intersection along highway 421 near Boone.

Brian Bergin says he was involved in a bad car crash at the notorious crossing and wants something done before someone else gets seriously hurt.

“You couldn’t turn out of the way, there was nothing you could have done to change that.”

Bergin says he’s lucky to be alive after a violent collision this past Sunday at this intersection sent his car into a ditch, and another car tumbling down the road.

“Her car rolled several times,” Bergin recalled.

Related: Troopers: 1 killed in Watauga Co. crash, alcohol believed to be a factor

Bergin says he was coming out of a local grocery store when the collision happened along highway 421 at old 421 in Watauga County. The area was coated in fog making it difficult to see until the other car was right on top of him.

“It just happened in the blink of an eye.”

According to State Troopers, the other car ran the stoplight before plowing into the vehicle driven by Bergin, totaling both cars.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever felt.”

Also Read: Dangerous Huntersville intersection under state investigation

While Bergin says the weather was certainly a factor, the intersection where it happened played a major role.

“People run the red light constantly. If you stand up there for half an hour, you will see people run that red light.”

It’s unclear if people might be trying to beat the light, or not see the warning signs until it’s too late. Speeding is certainly a problem here. Either way, Bergin says things need to change.

“They put up some flashing lights several years ago. But those flashing lights are too close to the light, they’re too hard to understand what they mean,” Bergin explained.

And he says drivers are simply getting confused.

“There’s got to be more done here.”

Bergin says dynamic speed limit signs or rumble strips might be the answer. WBTV ook his concerns to the NCDOT to see how drivers can best deal with the situation.

“That section of 421 from Deep Gap up through Boone is pretty bad when it gets foggy,” said Daniel Adams with NCDOT

Bergin can’t just simply avoid the intersection he travels this road every day. That’s why he wants more to be done to keep others from the fate he found himself in.

“But I don’t think that lowering the speed limit here is the solution because if people are going to run the red light, they’re going to run the red light,” Bergin said.

The NCDOT says they just began a study at that intersection, and all good ideas on how to fix it are on the table.