Truck takes out 522 traffic signal

An early morning collision on Wednesday, May 1 between a tractor trailer and a traffic signal pole along U.S. 522 has left the county’s major intersection without a permanent traffic control light.

photo by Tim Ziegler

Temporary stop lights are now posted in three directions at the intersection of Martinsburg Road and U.S. 522 in Berkeley Springs near Roy’s Service Center.

A more permanent traffic signal replacement is likely months away, said town and police officials.

Town of Bath Mayor Scott Merki and local law enforcement met at the scene to discuss traffic control in the absence of the light. Sheriff K.C. Bohrer said the weekend’s Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester was a special concern, since that event draws thousands of people, some of whom would travel through Berkeley Springs to reach the festival.

Bohrer said the accident, which took place shortly after midnight, occurred when a tractor trailer driver heading south on U.S. 522 apparently fell asleep and struck the traffic signal control at the intersection. The pole, light and cross arm fell across U.S. 522,  partially closing the roadway for hours. The pole was completely removed this morning.

Photos from the scene show the truck door with a logo for M-Ok Freight Lines.

Sheriff Bohrer said in a press release on mid-day Wednesday that Deputy Chris Roper has charged driver James D. Reed, 56, of Morristown, Tenn. with striking a highway fixture. The truck he was driving was hauling plastic, said police.