12 OYS: 18-wheeler wreck raises safety concerns at Bergen Road intersection

By: Jerome Email
By: Jerome Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / June 4, 2014

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WRDW) -- Clean up crews spent much of the day hauling off debris, following Tuesday night's 18-wheeler accident along Bernard Road in North Augusta.

That accident occurred around 9:30 p.m. just past the entrance to Willow Wick Apartments. News 12 took a closer look at the accident and spoke to some nearby residents who say safety concerns have been an issue at the intersection for a while.

While the road has some winding turns, at its sharpest point, the speed limit is just 15 miles per hour.

Not far from that posted speed is where Tuesday night's crash took place. Sheets of plywood and debris still littered Bergen Road on Wednesday afternoon. The remnants of an accident that left an 18-wheeler flatbed truck on its side, and it's driver in the hospital.

"Last night I was asleep, and then I heard this big boom," Kiel Smith said.

He lives in Willow Wick Apartments directly across from the crash scene. On Wednesday afternoon he watched as crews started cleaning up, and hauling away the big mess.

Smith also wondered how much different the scene could have been, had the accident happened during a different time of day.

"It'd probably be worse than this. Much worse," said Smith looking at the wreckage. He said just yards from the crash, is where his daughter and other children from the apartment complex are picked up and dropped off from school.

"He might have had a collision with one of these buses," Smith said.

He and other residents like Albert Davis said there are a couple of reasons why the intersection leading in and out of the complex is dangerous.

"When you go around that curve, there's a blind spot," Davis said.

Meanwhile, Smith has his own reasons to be alarmed.

"Leaving here it's bad, because at that stop sign, everybody is wanting to run it even if we're standing here for the bus," Smith said.

Police said speed may have been a factor in the crash, and while distracted driving may or may not be a cause too, it is still a reason for Smith to be worried.

"I have concerns about people not paying attention, and might hit one of these kids out here," Smith said.

Other neighbors we spoke to said, while they see lots of drivers blowing through a stop sign at the entrance to Willow Wick Apartments, they have not seen a lot of accidents, and none as bad as this one.

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