Highway back open after crash involving gas line

POSTED: 4:27 PM Dec 06 2012   UPDATED: 11:28 PM Dec 06 2012
HAVELOCK -

A car crashed into a natural gas line, causing a leak and forcing a section of a busy highway to shut down for a couple of hours.

"I was worried. I thought it was a really really big accident," Annie Punclet, who witnessed the scene, said.

The wreck happened Thursday afternoon off Highway 70 near Walmart in Havelock.  The location is at a plaza called "The Sound of Freedom Shoppes" police said.  The six businesses at that plaza are closed.

The driver of the vehicle has been identified as a 16-year-old.  Police are investigating to see if distracted driving was a factor in the crash.  The driver and passengers in the car were not harmed; it is unclear how many people were in the car, according to Sgt. Marshell Lavoie of the Havelock Police Department.

Students were evacuated from W.J. Gurganus Elementary to the Walmart parking lot, police said.