State looking over bridges after fatal fall

Carroll Eames

November 30, 2009 8:49:16 PM PST
The NC DOT wants to look at all state bridges after a man jumped over a median on I-440 to avoid a wreck.Carroll Eames fell 50 feet to his death near Crabtree Creek Friday night.

Police say his car wasn't even involved; he only pulled over to help.

It was when the 33-year-old father saw a third car heading straight for him that he jumped the median and fell in between the two sides of I-440 where there's nothing but air as it crosses Crabtree Creek.

Eames' family says they want to know that this won't happen to anyone else's loved ones.

"I know it won't bring Lee back, but I want it fixed or changed or something done so it don't happen again," Eames' sister Marie Tanner said.

Tanner says she's not surprised that her brother pulled over to help at the scene of a car wreck.

State Highway Administrator Terry Gibson says because of Eames' death, the Department of Transportation is now reviewing all of the state's 17,000 bridges to see if it has happened elsewhere.

"We don't, we don't see this type of accident that often across the state and we're trying to figure out what the magnitude is and what type of problem we may have," Gibson said.

However, there is one place he knows it has happened, the very same overpass on I-440.

After that death in 2005, the state put up a fence to keep it from happening again, but they didn't put one on the other side, leaving some to wonder if they should have.

"It should have been fixed when it happened the first time," Tanner said. "They should have put fencing on both sides or a metal grate in between them or something. If it happened on one side of the road, they should have figured it was going to happen on the other side of the road sooner or later ... they should have fixed it."

"At the time, when we installed the other fence, we thought it was going to fix the problem we thought we had the solution, it was on the high side of the bridge where you couldn't see over and on the lower side, the gap was visible," Gibson said. "It was dark. So the reality is, we're looking at it now and we're going to take appropriate action."

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook


Load Comments