i-85 wreck folo
Five Rowan residents were involved in the big wreck on I-85 Monday afternoon near Kannapolis that backed up traffic for miles.
Trooper M. Coley of the N.C. Highway Patrol charged Rueben Campa of Houston, Texas, the driver of a tour bus, with failure to reduce speed.
Coley said Campa failed to slow the bus in a heavy downpour and rammed into other vehicles that had slowed. Coley estimated the bus was going 60 mph when it plowed into vehicles, causing a chain-reaction wreck.
Campa was taken to Carolinas Medical Center – NorthEast and then transferred to CMC in Charlotte.
The registered owner of the bus is a company in Garland, Texas. Coley said the passengers were in transit from Pennsylvania to Mexico.
Among the other vehicles involved were four from Rowan.
Albert Frank Farmer and his wife, Clara, of China Grove were in a Kia. They were transported to NorthEast.
John McDermott of Hickory Lane in Salisbury, the driver of a Chevy pickup, was apparently taken to NorthEast by private vehicles.
Elizabeth Clement of Salisbury, who was driving a Tahoe, was also taken to NorthEast.
Trooper Cooley identified Chelsea Hinson of Salisbury as the driver of a Chevy Blazer, also involved in the wreck. Whether she was injured was not clear.
Coley said the bus driver appeared to be the most seriously injured and is likely the only person still hospitalized late Tuesday. A total of 12 were transported to NorthEast and Rowan Regional Medical Center.
The accident occurred around 4:30 p.m. Monday in the southbound lanes of I-85, a short distance north of the Dale Earnhardt Boulevard interchange.
Kannapolis police rerouted all southbound traffic onto U.S. 29 for several hours.
The American Red Cross and Kannapolis city staffers aided the bus passengers, housing and feeding them until a replacement bus could arrive.