Tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 85 south causes back-ups for motorists

Published 11:57 am Friday, July 21, 2017

By Shavonne Walker

ROWAN COUNTY — An overturned tractor-trailer in the southbound lane of Interstate 85 in Rowan County caused a shutdown of traffic near the Lane Street exit and beyond for much of Friday, N.C. Highway Patrol officials said.

The crash was near the Cabarrus County line and Exit 63.

No injuries were reported, despite a 911 call about a person being pinned inside the tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer was carrying a concrete slab that officials said had to be removed from the roadway. The concrete slab and back portion of the truck were hanging over a damaged guardrail.

Highway Patrol officials worked throughout the day to detour traffic onto Webb Road at Exit 68.

Motorists detoured onto U.S. 29, which then become a bottleneck, officials said.

Other roads were crowded, including N.C. 150 West, where a two-car accident outside Salisbury about 3:30 p.m. added to the slowdown.

Officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation worked to put up signs warning motorists of the delays, but many drivers were already stuck in traffic.

Vehicles were slowed to at least Exit 81 a few hours after the crash.

Highway Patrol officials reported that some motorists ignored road signs and drove into construction areas.

A fuel spill also had to be cleaned up, the Highway Patrol said.

The crash occurred shortly before 11 a.m. N.C. Department of Transportation officials reported early on that they expected traffic to be affected for hours.

The roadway was reopened about 4 p.m. The tractor-trailer was righted and attached to a wrecker about 3:40 p.m.

According to 911 communications, at about 3:30 p.m. traffic was moving slowly but at a steady pace.

A few people reported diabetic or other medical emergencies. Emergency responders had to coordinate with 911 dispatchers to get to the patients.

All EMS personnel were tied up on the interstate at one point. Other agencies, including NuCare ambulance services, assisted with calls not related to the interstate.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.