Update: 1 dead in wreck on I-85 south in Concord
CONCORD ó Traffic on Interstate 85 headed south was snarled for several hours Friday morning after a mid-morning accident near exit 55.
North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper W.Y. Kessler confirmed one person died in the accident, which happened at about 9:15 a.m. Friday.
Debra Reddick, 51, of Winston-Salem, was driving a red 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt rental car north on I-85 when Kessler said she veered off the road.
ěFor no reason, she jerked the wheel and ran off the road into the median,î said Kessler. ěShe ran under the cable into the southbound lane.î
There, she struck a ěvery largeî GMC pickup driven by Thomas Davis, 53, of Okolona, Miss. The driverís side door took the full impact of the accident and Kessler said Reddick died immediately on impact. She was wearing her seatbelt and the airbag in the car deployed.
First on the scene was off-duty Charlotte Fire Department firefighter James Shaffner, who witnessed the accident and was the first to the car. There were no passengers in either car. Davis was not injured in the accident.
Kessler said the accident shut down all lanes of I-85 South for about 1 1/2 hours, then one lane was reopened. Within two hours, she said both lanes of southbound I-85 were back open, but traffic was still heavy at lunchtime.
There was no diversion of traffic, but many commuters got off the interstate and drove down U.S. 29.
Traffic in Kannapolis is heavy this morning, as a wreck one mile south of Exit 58 on I-85 Southbound has traffic backed up several miles. Vehicles are being re-routed onto U.S. 29 through Kannapolis, with travelers getting off on Exit 63 and 60 to go south.
The wreck happened at about 9:15 a.m. and troopers are still at the scene.
More info as it becomes available.