Weaverville – Two head-on collisions took place on Weaverville Road (Merrimon Avenue) last week, though no life-threatening injuries were reported. “You can call them ‘head-on’ with some angle,” said Detective Alan Wyatt. “We haven’t heard any follow up about any serious injuries, or fatalities,” he said.
The Weaverville Police Department is encouraging drivers to use extra caution, in light of recent rain and heavy holiday traffic.Read more...
“Any time there is more traffic on the road, there is an increased chance there will be wrecks,” said Wyatt, who added the holidays combined with heavy rain is a recipe for traffic incidents. “In these two cases, weather wasn’t a factor, but you get more people on the road, and in a hurry, shopping, or whatever, and a wreck can occur,” he added.
The curves on Weaverville Road, said Wyatt, makes congested driving even more challenging.
“Merrimon is a busy thorough-fare and there are some tight turns,” Wyatt continued. “In one case, the driver didn’t see the oncoming vehicle.”
Saturday around 1 p.m. a collision was reported involving five people, who were taken to Mission Hospital. Three of those injured were reported as children, age 2 to 10 years old. This accident, according to Wyatt, occurred when a driver was heading north, near Super Lube, 674 Weaverville Road. The driver was turning into Super Lube, while another vehicle was heading south and collided with the turning vehicle.
A similar accident occurred Monday around 1:30 p.m. when a driver tried to avoid an adult on a moped. It’s believed, the moped driver was heading north, and stopped to make a left turn onto Aiken Road. A vehicle, travelling behind the moped, swerved to avoid hitting the moped when it stopped. The vehicle hit the moped driver and, then, collided with oncoming traffic, before landing in the ditch on the west side of Weaverville Road.
Four adults were involved: a male driving the moped, a female driver behind him, and two individuals in the oncoming vehicle. All four were transported to Mission Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The Weaverville Police Department, Weaverville Fire Department, Reems Creek EMS and Buncombe County EMS all responded to Monday’s accident, stopping traffic heading north and south on Weaverville Road for a short period of time.
Last weeks headlines
State investigates possible Woodfin arson attempt
By Heather Berry
Woodfin – Investigators from the North Carolina State Forest Service Law Enforcement were called Monday afternoon to investigate an approximate 10-foot trail of wooden matches and some incendiary devices, appeared to be left by arsonists on Leisure Mountain Road, near the Woodfin Ingles on Merrimon Avenue.Read more...
“From what you describe, that sounds like that’s a homemade incendiary device,” said Weaverville Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Laster at the scene, while talking with residents. “Someone will put a lit cigarette in the center and, when it burns down to the matches, it lights. It won’t take much with all these pine needles,” he added.
Some Woodfin residents discovered the items, after firefighters from the Woodfin Fire Department, Weaverville Fire Department and Reems Creek Fire Department responded to a small brush fire behind the grocery store around 1 p.m. Smoke was billowing from behind the store. The small fire was quickly extinguished near a driveway, but residents took the opportunity to tell firefighters of some suspicious items littered along the side of the road, about 75 feet away. It’s unknown if the items and brush fire are related.
“There are matches all the way, up and down the road, with the heads burned off, and my neighbor found a little bundle of them, wrapped together,” said Jamie Kearns, who walked from her apartment to speak with the firefighters.
Along the southern edge of the roadway, there was a trail of wooden matches resting in dried pine needles. Some matches showed signs of being lit, while others were fresh. One resident told firefighters how a cluster of unlit wooden matches, tied together, had been found last week.
As firefighters investigated and looked for the cluster of matches at the scene, a resident Heather Olson found another suspicious item with an unlit match sticking out. The item looked like a used vinyl electrical connector, possibly for a vehicle, still with wires attached.
Laster called the State Forest Service Law Enforcement to collect the evidence for further investigation.
“I walk along here all the time and I haven’t seen anything else suspicious,” said Olson, a Woodfin resident, who found one of the devices now being investigated by the State Forestry Service. “When I first saw it, I didn’t see the wires and the match, until I picked it up,” she explained. “I guess that was quite a discovery,” she added. “I think someone was trying to set off a fire, and the question is, ‘Why didn’t it? Maybe, that’s a miracle.”
Firefighters responded quickly to the small fire, extinguishing it within minutes. “The county has it set up right now that multiple departments come in quickly on a brush fire,” said Laster. “That way, we have plenty of manpower and plenty of help,” he said.
Local firefighters warn, Lake Lure fires could happen here
By Heather Berry
Northern Buncombe County – During the height of the wildfires raging to our south, Barnardsville firefighters were called to the Big Ivy area Nov. 12, because a camper was burning wood. According to area firefighters, the worst case scenario hasn’t stopped some residents in northern Buncombe County from ignoring the county-wide open burning ban. The penalty can include fines. Read more...
“It seems like every day, there are a few residents trying to burn, whether it’s in a barrel or an open burning with a small patch of leaves. It’s critical right now to follow the open burning ban, because of the length of this drought and the winds,” West Buncombe Fire Department Captain Mark Parker, who encourages the public to dial 911 immediately if they see any open burning.
“Any burning right now, as dry and windy as it is, is dangerous,” Weaverville Fire Department Battalion Chief David Privette. “All it takes is an ember floating through the air and it could land 20 to 30 feet away and that’s all it takes,” he added.
According to Parker, Buncombe County is not immune to dangerous wildfires, which have forced a state of emergency and evacuations in Rutherford and Burke counties.
“It would just take one person to allow a fire to get out of control,” said Parker. “We’ve seen a lot of people, who are ill-prepared in the fire areas because their homes weren’t prepped for fire season,” he added. Parker asks residents to clean up leaf and other yard debris as a wildfire prevention. “Leaf litter makes your home more susceptible to fires,” he continued. “We have things burning now, that normally don’t burn, because of how dry it is.”
Parker said the burning ban is especially vital right now, because many fire departments are sending firefighters to help with North Carolina wildfires, leaving local fire departments more vulnerable than usual. “There are so many fires burning right now in North Carolina, I don’t know exactly how long we will be needed, but there is a fire that just started in McDowell County,” said Parker.
The West Buncombe Fire Department has been sending one to two firefighters daily to help around Party Rock.
The Barnardsville Fire Department sent five fireman to help with the wildfires. Barnardsville Fire Chief Kevin Mundy said most people have followed the burning ban, and the department hasn’t had any real trouble with campers at Big Ivy. He said the open burning ban, however, is still vital, because of the drought.
Weaverville is still getting calls for open burning. “We’ve had a few people trying to burn debris, or have a campfire in their yard,” said Privette. “We haven’t had anything get out of control,” he added. According to Privette, residents have been cooperative in extinguishing the fires when the fireman ask.
The Reems Creek Fire Department posted a clear warning on its Facebook page reminding residents of the burning ban. “We have had equipment and personnel on the fire scene since Saturday,” stated the Reems Creek Fire Department Facebook post dated Nov. 16. “Our resources are stretched thin, so we beg, please NO OPEN BURNING during the ban.”
Local fire departments are collecting donations for the firefighters fighting North Carolina wildfires. “We are taking any non-perishables that can last awhile,’ said Parker. “We are taking any bottled water, Gatorade and things like that, because we can always use these. Until this drought breaks, we really don’t know how much we will be using,” Parker added.
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