Lack of emergency lanes on bridges causes concerns - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Lack of emergency lanes on bridges causes concerns

Posted: Updated:

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Several bridges throughout the state of South Carolina don't have an emergency lane, often times making it difficult for first responders to get to you at the time you need them most.

Owner of East Coast Towing, Charles Knotts said when his company gets called to bridges that don't have emergency lanes, not only are his employees at risk but drivers are too.

"It's a matter of somebody's life. Plain and Simple," Knotts said.

Knotts said he fears for his life and others when he gets a call for a stranded driver on a bridge that doesn't have emergency lanes.

"One night I had a stranded motorist right there on the interstate and it was about I'd say 11:30 at night. No lights on the bridge whatsoever. No median to speak of. Maybe two feet on the side of the road, which is nothing because I mean a vehicle don't even take up part of that. I had to have the customer stand out there behind the vehicle to notify any cars that were coming up behind us that we were there," Knotts said.

Kady Morris' life changed instantly because there were no emergency lanes on a bridge. Morris' husband James Coffey was killed on the Great Pee Dee River Bridge in Florence while he was trying to help a disabled car. Coffey worked as a tow truck employee. Now, Morris is taking her fight for changes to state legislators.

"My goals are working with state officials- trying to get a sign put up, a big sign that could be activated by emergency personnel. So, you know if there's an accident or a stranded motorist in the right hand lane," Morris said.

Bridges without emergency lanes also hamper fire, police and EMS vehicles from getting through when they're trying to answer a call.

"They have to stop traffic, come up the wrong side of the bridge or try to maneuver to get around the bridge or around traffic. It's just a major time delay," Morris said.

Morris said local officials have agreed with her that South Carolina's bridges need work, but finding the money to fund them is nearly impossible.

Both Knotts and Morris said they want to get the word out for drivers to be more cautious of what's going on in front of them while they're driving. Knotts said often times, drivers don't acknowledge the meaning of the amber lights on tow trucks.

"You see the lights- move over because we could be going to assist your family member," Knotts said.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCAL NEWSMore>>

  • 2 people jump from window to escape Murrells Inlet fire

    2 people jump from window to escape Murrells Inlet fire

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:01 PM EDT2014-04-19 16:01:58 GMT
    MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - A fire is blazing in Murrells Inlet on Lotus Court, a member of Murrells Inlet/Garden City Fire and Rescue confirmed. Fire crews are on the scene working to put out the fire. InformationMore >>
    A fire is under control at Riverwood Condos complex on Lotus Court in Murrells Inlet, Chief Thompson with Horry County Fire and Rescue confirmed.
    More >>
  • Vigil marks 4 months since Heather Elvis disappeared

    Vigil marks 4 months since Heather Elvis disappeared

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:43 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:43:35 GMT
    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Today marks four months since Heather Elvis was reported missing. The search for the 20 year old launched an aggressive investigation, landing a local couple behind bars accusedMore >>
    Today marks four months since Heather Elvis was reported missing. The search for the 20-year-old launched an aggressive investigation, landing a local couple behind bars.More >>
  • Easter weekend meets Spring Break safety

    Easter weekend meets Spring Break safety

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:43 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:43:01 GMT
    Horry County (WMBF)-Easter weekend and both Horry and Georgetown County Schools Spring Break came at the same time. South Carolina Highway Patrol says this is a high traffic weekend. They say they willMore >>
    Horry County (WMBF)-Easter weekend and both Horry and Georgetown County Schools Spring Break came at the same time. South Carolina Highway Patrol says this is a high traffic weekend. They say they willMore >>
Powered by WorldNow

918 Frontage Road East
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 839-9623
news@wmbfnews.com

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WMBF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.