Police in Belmont say that a backup of trucks attempting to get into a weigh station was a factor in a July 1 crash on Interstate 85 in which 10 people were sent to the hospital for the personal injuries they suffered.
The weigh station in question is just north of the Catawba River Bridge near the Gaston-Mecklenburg County line.
Belmont Police Chief David James said that the backup stretched from the weigh station back across the river bridge and into Belmont city limits.
A tour bus transporting a Christian singing group known as the Bowling Family began heading down the hill towards the bridge and suddenly the driver was confronted with trucks stacked up in his lane. James said the driver did not realize it was such slow-moving traffic until it was too late. He attempted to swerve left, but rear-ended one of the trucks.
The weigh station is operated by the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
According to a spokesperson, the station was constructed in 1979 and is now too small to handle the volume of trucks that have to be checked. The spokesperson also said that a $300,000 camera system was installed for the purpose of warning those inside when the trucks get backed up to the highway, but noted that the trucks quickly become stacked up in peak hours.
According to Chief James, no other accidents had been caused by the trucks backing up out into the highway. He was amazed that no one had died in the accident.
The NCHP said that it is already seeking out new locations to build a new weigh station and currently has two potential locations where there would be more room and longer ramps to help prevent further accidents.
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