Possible charges in I-85 accident will wait until after DNC, say troopers

by: Alan Cavanna Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - State troopers said they'll wait until after the Democratic National Convention to discuss possible charges in a fatal accident on Interstate 85.

Troopers said Pamela Knox's car broke down in one of the lanes of I-85 North, near mile marker 30. A tractor-trailer hit Knox from behind, sending both vehicles into the inside wall and setting both on fire.

It happened after 11 a.m. north of the 485 interchange near exit 32-Little Rock Road.

Knox was killed and the driver of the tractor-trailer went to the hospital as a precaution.

On Tuesday night, Knox's son said his family is grieving together.

"It's going to be a hard process," Christopher Knox said. "But I believe we can work this out with each other, because in the end that's the only thing we'll have in the end is each other."

When an Eyewitness News crew got to the scene just minutes after the crash, they saw a tractor-trailer with its front end destroyed and what was left of a small, mangled and burned red car.

Trooper Derek Heintz with the Highway Patrol was nearby working another accident.

"I heard a loud explosion, saw smoke, came down here, saw the tractor-trailer and car fully engulfed in the fire," he said.

Heintz said the driver of the tractor-trailer made it out just in time. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

"He stated that he looked down for a second to mess with his radio, when he looked up and the car was stopped," he said.

Heintz said the driver of the car, identified by her husband as Pamela Knox, was driving in the right lane with her flashers on. She was having car problems and was on the phone with her husband at the time.

"He stated that he heard her say, 'Oh my God there's a truck,' and then the wreck happened," Heintz said.

Her husband arrived at the scene and found out she was killed.

"It was a pretty emotional time. We sent officers over to console him and do what they can," Heintz said.

All northbound lanes of I-85 near the Little Rock Road exit were shut down for more than two hours.

Crews dumped sand on the road as a precaution because the truck's fuel tank ruptured, but troopers don't think it spilled onto the road.

Troopers said they've scheduled a meeting with the district attorney the week after the DNC.