East Charlotte intersection ranked 9th dangerous for holiday travel

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three crashes happened at an east Charlotte intersection within hours of each other Monday.

The stretch of Independence Boulevard at Briar Creek Road is reportedly one of the most dangerous during the holidays, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Go Safe Labs, looked at more than 200,000 traffic crashes nationwide in December from 2016 to 2018.

The Independence at Briar Creek Road connector ranked No. 9, with 17 crashes at the intersection during that time period.

Channel 9’s Gina Esposito went back and looked at NCDOT crash data from 2014 to 2018.

The data showed 377 wrecks on Independence Boulevard between Briar Creek Road and Eastway Drive. When you compare that to Briar Creek Road to Pecan Avenue, only 134 accidents are reported.

Traffic Team 9′s Mark Taylor said when we have a wreck on Independence Boulevard, they typically happen between Briar Creek and Eastway Drive. He explained what’s behind the increase.

“That’s just where a lot of people are merging on from Briar Creek from Eastway Drive so you’ve got all the congestion. All these people trying to get to one spot and its creates this long back up and that’s where people tend to crash,” Taylor said.

Officials said rain most likely contributed to Monday’s crashes.

Around 2:30 a.m., police said a car hydroplaned and crashed into a power pole on the exit ramp.

While crews were working to clear that crash, a car overturned underneath the Eastway bridge nearby.

Later that morning, another car flipped over while driving on the ramp.

Drivers said the stretch of road is dangerous.

“You do have to be extra careful when you’re driving through that area,” driver Faith Schetzel said.

Driver Kenneth Hampton said he often sees wrecks in the stretch between Briar Creek Road and Eastway Drive.

“I get two or three accidents out here every day,” Hampton said. “It’s terrifying coming out that way.”

Read Go Safe Labs’ full study here.

Go Safe Labs is a non-profit that uses data make roads safer. Channel 9 asked the company and NCDOT what changes could be made to improve the area. Go Safe Labs said they are expanding their preliminary research with Charlotte's Vision Zero.

Kevin Pomplun, Chairman, Go Safe Labs said, “Go Safe Labs has one goal: use data to make roads safer. That’s it. We’re excited to expand our preliminary research with Charlotte’s Vision Zero data. We’re grateful for all the federal, state, and local groups who gather data to keep making roads safer for all of us.”

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