Oak Island Barbee Bridge accident leaves one dead


OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Officials are investigating an accident on the Oak Island Barbee Bridge Saturday that involved multiple vehicles and left one person dead.

The Oak Island Police Department and Fire Department responded to the call shortly after noon Saturday.

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Upon arrival, first responders found that a dump truck had gone over the side of the bridge and landed upside down in the marsh.

According to a press release from Oak Island Assistant Town Manager Lisa Stites, officials determined that a passenger van traveling north on the bridge had crossed into the southbound lane, which caused a chain reaction involving the dump truck and another cargo van.

The driver of the passenger van was treated at the scene and released, while the driver of the cargo van was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries.

The driver of the dump truck, Mitchell Wayne Griffith Jr., 44, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The G.V. Barbee Bridge was closed for about 12 hours while the North Carolina Department of Transportation inspected and made temporary repairs to the bridge. The bridge reopened Sunday shortly after midnight.

The Oak Island Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol are continuing to investigate the accident.

During the time of this incident, a head-on collision occurred in the Oak Island jurisdiction near the intersection of E.F. Middleton Boulevard and Midway Road. At the request of the Oak Island Police Department, the North Carolina Highway Patrol has assumed investigation of that crash.