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1 killed after pickup hits tractor-trailer on Interstate 85

Police are still trying to identify the man who was killed Monday night in Rowan County in a wreck on Interstate 85.
N.C. State Highway Patrol troopers responded to a call at 11:36 p.m. about a pickup truck that had crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer on northbound I-85 between Peeler and Peach Orchard roads, according to Sgt. Robert Whitley with the Highway Patrol.
Whitley said the man, who was driving a 1994 Toyota Tacoma, was killed instantly. He suffered massive trauma to the head and chest after his truck veered off the road and smashed into a parked tractor-trailer. The pickup was smashed in and the roof was peeled back, Whitley said.
The tractor-trailer was parked off the roadway when the accident happened, Whitley said. He said police are unsure if the driver of the pickup fell asleep or was distracted in the moments before the accident. There were no skid marks in the road and the estimated impact speed was 65 mph, Whitley said.
Whitley said officers did not find a driver’s license in the vehicle. The license plate was from Florida. The plate’s registration led to a residence in Panama City.
The Florida Highway Patrol and Bay County Sheriff’s Office were contacted, but the agencies have been unable to reach anyone at the address or locate any family connected to the name on the vehicle’s registration, Whitley said.
The tractor-trailer had heavy damage, but the driver was not injured, Whitley said.
Whitley did not release the name on the registration since the identity has not been confirmed. He said the coroner’s office may have to use fingerprints or dental records to confirm the man’s identity.

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