Entries in Highway (7)


Massive Pileup on Detroit Highway Leaves Three Dead

Steve Allen/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- At least three people were killed Thursday morning in a chain reaction accident on a highway in southwest Detroit.

Two of the deceased were children, according to Michigan State Police Captain Monica Yesh, who couldn't confirm if the victims were all in the same vehicle.

The pileup on Interstate 75 involved dozens of cars and stretched for more than a mile.

Yesh said whiteout conditions were likely to blame.

"There was a huge snow squall that came through, probably only lasted 15 to 20 seconds, pretty much took everybody's sight away," she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


9/11 'Truthers' Adopt a Highway in Missouri

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has approved a controversial "9/11 truther" group's application to adopt a highway.

The St. Louis 9/11 Questions Meetup Group, which suggests the U.S. government may have been involved in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, will have a sign erected with its name on it.  In exchange, it will arrange to pick up litter on a half-mile stretch of highway four times a year.

This isn't the first time MoDOT has dealt with a controversial group wanting to adopt a highway.  After a legal battle with a Ku Klux Klan group, MoDOT had to make a change in its policies, allowing anyone to adopt a stretch of highway.

Tom Blair, assistant district engineer for MoDOT in St. Louis, told ABC News that after its battle with the KKK, the state can no longer reject a group based on its beliefs, no matter how controversial or offensive.

"MoDOT has been there," Blair said.  "After they won the right to adopt, we modified the process.  We had to make sure anyone could be approved."

The department's battle with the Klan began in early 2000, when the KKK applied to adopt a stretch of highway and was denied.  After a five-year lawsuit, a federal judge ruled the KKK had the right to adopt a stretch of highway in St. Louis, but its sponsorship signs were routinely stolen.  MoDOT appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but was rejected.

The sign for the St. Louis 9/11 Questions Group will go up in January, according to Blair.

The website for the 9/11 truther group sells T-shirts that say, "The 9/11 debacle was an inside job" and other shirts that compare George W. Bush to Hitler's deputy, Hermann Goring.

"We are in the U.S. and everyone has the right to their viewpoint," Blair said.

The St. Louis group's organizer, Donald Stahl, could not be reached for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Arrested in Connection with Mississippi Fatal Shootings

Tunica County Sheriff's Office(TUNICA, Miss.) -- Authorities in Mississippi have arrested a suspect in connection with two fatal shootings that occurred last week along the state's northern highways.

James D. Willie, 28, was originally arrested Tuesday morning in Tunica, Mississippi, on a rape charge.  At the time, a Ruger 9mm, semi-automatic handgun was found in his possession, according to officials.  That weapon later proved to be the same one used in the two murders.

"It was determined after a testing by state crime lab scientists, the weapon matched the weapon used in two murders in northwest Mississippi last week," the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said in a statement Friday.

Willie has been charged with two counts of capital murder in the shootings.  State Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said that he was not posing as a police officer in the shootings, as authorities previously suspected.

As of late Thursday, authorities were questioning another man, James Lucas, who was being held in Humphreys County, Miss.  Lucas was merely "under investigation," officials say, and was being questioned regarding two fatal Wednesday night incidents in central Mississippi.  He was not charged with a crime, a Humphreys County sheriff's official said.

Police could not say Thursday night whether these two recent incidents were related to the fatal shootings from last week.

On May 8, at about 1:30 a.m., Tom Schlender, 74, from Nebraska, was found dead in his car on Interstate 55 in Panola County.  Three days later, Lori Carswell, 48, from Mississippi, was found near her car on Mississippi Highway 713 in nearby Tunica County at about 2:15 a.m.

The shootings prompted authorities to issue a warning to drivers after it was believed that the suspect was posing as a police officer.

"We urge everyone to be cautious while driving, especially at night," the Tate County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page.  "If someone attempts to pull you over with flashing lights and you feel unsure of stopping, DON'T PULL OVER.  Use your cell phone and dial 911 and if it's a real officer then the dispatcher will confirm it for you and if it's not a real officer they will send help to you."

According to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, a motive for the two shootings is still under investigation. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Florida Highway Terror Revealed in 911 Tape: 'You Can't See'

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- A 911 tape from a smoke and fog shrouded Florida highway revealed the terror of crashed motorists as they heard cars and trucks smashing into things around them, but unable to see what was happening.

By the end of the call, one woman had witnessed or heard a half dozen collisions, can hear injured people crying for help somewhere on the murky highway, and is sobbing into the phone.

Police suspect an arsonist may have started a Florida brush fire that helped blind drivers on Interstate 75 south of Gainesville, turning the highway into a death trap late Saturday night and into Sunday morning as drivers of cars and tractor trailers smashed into each other.  Ten people died and 18 were injured.  Several are still in the hospital.

Alachua County released a 911 tape from a motorist who had slammed into a guardrail and had called for help.  During the call, the woman gets increasingly frightened as other vehicles can be heard plowing into each other.

When asked if anyone was injured, the caller tells the operator, "No, no thank God.  But I think I heard another crash back there."

The operator urges the woman to stay in her vehicle and that help is on the way, but the woman keeps talking, saying, "It's really bad out here.  People are just stopping."

The 911 dispatcher tells the woman "a lot of lines ringing right now," so the operator has to get off, but the sound of another crash is heard.

"Oh [EXPLETIVE]!  Another accident.  Oh my God!" the woman said.  The dispatcher is alarmed, asking, "What just happened?  Tell me what happened."

The caller continues, "Oh my goodness.  And that was a truck! ... You can't see.  You cannot see.  It's like impossible to see."

The operator now gives the driver new instructions: "All right, I want you, if you are able to, turn on your emergency flashers, get out of your vehicle and step as far away from traffic as..."  But moments later another crash is heard.

At least three more crashes are audible during the increasingly hectic call.  The woman who dialed 911 is getting upset and is heard telling the dispatcher, "You can hardly even see your hazards.  Here comes another one.  He's coming too fast.  Here comes another one," followed by the sound of yet another collision.

The dispatcher is heard telling the driver that many ambulances are being sent.  "Please yes.  Oh wow," she replies.  She is left crying and telling the operator she can hear injured people crying for help.

It wasn't clear what started the brush fire, but officials suspect it may have been intentionally set because there had been no controlled burns in the area and no lightning strikes.

Officials believe the brush fire was started at around 3 p.m. Saturday, creating a uniquely soupy combination that plagues Florida this time of year when smoke from brush fires mixes with the dense moisture coming off of marshes, swamps, bogs and lakes.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Plane Crashes on Florida Turnpike; Cause Unknown

File photo. (Arctic-Images/Getty Images)(MIAMI) -- A single-engine plane crash-landed on the Florida Turnpike outside Miami Wednesday, though the cause of the crash remained unclear.

Authorities said the plane landed at about 1 p.m. on the northbound side of the turnpike near Hollywood, Fla., and appeared to have broken its wings.

According to the Pines County Fire Department, two people on board were transported to Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and there was no other damage to vehicles or people on the highway.

The plane departed from the Opa-locka Airport and was headed to the North Perry Airport, Broward County Aviation Department spokesman Gregory Meyer said.

The air traffic control tower had cleared the plane for landing, and the plane crashed at some time after that all-clear signal, Meyer said.

Footage captured by television station helicopters showed victims being removed from the wreckage on stretchers at the scene.

The 2008 Socata TBM-700 single turboprop with the tail number N37SV was listed as owned by the SV Leasing Company of Florida, located in Miami.

Calls to the Florida Highway Patrol were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Four People Found Shot Dead on Highway in North Carolina

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Thinkstock(DURHAM COUNTY, N.C.) -- Authorities in North Carolina are investigating the deaths of four people who were reportedly shot and killed and left along a highway.

Deputies from the Durham County Sheriff's Office were reportedly called to an area on Highway 54 early Saturday morning, where they found the four bullet-ridden bodies. Officials say three of the victims were found inside a vehicle, while the body of the fourth victim was found outside of the vehicle, according to a report by ABC’s Durham affiliate WTVD-TV.

Among the dead were three females and one male.

Authorities say the shootings do not appear to be random.

The names of the victims weren’t immediately released, pending notification of victims’ next-of-kin.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nation’s Highway Traffic Reaches Highest Level Since 2007 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Americans drove three trillion miles in 2010, the most vehicle miles traveled since 2007 and the third-highest ever recorded, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Wednesday. 

The increase in traffic volume comes as the U.S. in 2009 posted its lowest number of traffic fatalities and injuries since 1950.

"More driving means more wear and tear on our nation's roads and bridges," said Secretary LaHood.  "This new data further demonstrates why we need to repair the roads and bridges that are the lifeblood of our economy."

The Secretary noted that Americans drove 0.7 percent more, or 20.5 billion additional vehicle miles traveled (VMT), in 2010 than the previous year. Travel increased by 0.6 percent, or 1.4 billion VMT, in December 2010 compared to the previous December. It is the tenth consecutive month of increased driving. 

The new data, from the Federal Highway Administration's monthly "Traffic Volume Trends" report, show the South Gulf area, a block of eight states ranging from Texas to Kentucky, experienced the greatest regional increase in December 2010 at 46.6 billion VMT, an increase of 624 million miles traveled compared to the previous December.

With an increase of 11.1 percent, or 156 million additional miles traveled, Nebraska led the nation with the largest single-state increase that month, and rural driving out-paced urban driving across the country.

"These data are critical to identifying and evaluating patterns of use on America's road system, which help us to make decisions about investments in critical infrastructure," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Repairing our nation's roads, bridges and tunnels will help us ensure safety, strengthen the economy and build for the future."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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