By Dave Russell

 

Traffic backed up for about 45 minutes each way on U.S. 74 Friday evening about 6 p.m. because of a two-vehicle accident near West Piney Mountain Road.

Kenneth Bradley, 23, of Whittier, failed to yield right of way after stopping at a stop sign and pulled out in front of a westbound truck, N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Lucas Brooks said.

“The driver of the truck started braking real hard and trying to avoid Mr. Bradley by steering left, and hit the front quarterpanel and driver’s door of Mr. Bradley’s car, causing the truck to go across the eastbound lanes, through a guardrail, down off an embankment, into a tree and almost into the river,” Brooks said.

The truck, a 1991 Ford F 350, was driven by Tanner Millsaps, 20, of Bryson City. Benjamin Collins, 21, and Dalton Millsaps, 22, both of Bryson City were passengers in the truck.

Bradley, who was driving a 2013 Honda passenger vehicle, was charged with failing to yield a right of way after stopping at a stop sign.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Qualla Fire Department and Harris EMS responded to the scene.

Bradley was transported to Harris Regional Hospital.

“There were no serious injuries,” Brooks said. “Mr. Bradley was taken to the hospital, but I spoke with hospital staff and they didn’t suspect any serious injuries. Nobody in the pickup truck was seriously injured. They declined to go to the hospital.”