Troopers said a drunken driver was going more than twice the speed limit on Interstate 77 when he crashed early Thursday.
The Highway Patrol said Nelson Kagika was going 115 mph in a 55 mph zone just after 2 a.m. He swerved to avoid hitting a car driven by an off-duty Charlotte police officer on I-77 South near Clanton Road and lost control, troopers said.
Kagika’s car bounced off a guardrail and the median before it was T-boned by a tractor-trailer.
All three people in the car were hurt, with the front passenger suffering the most severe injuries. The passenger in the back was treated at the scene. The other two remain hospitalized in good condition.
One passenger told Eyewitness News he was telling Kagika to slow down before the crash happened.
He said the three men had been out celebrating the return of one of the passengers who had just come home from serving the military in Afghanistan.
Kagika will be charged with driving while impaired when he is released from the hospital.
The interstate was closed until about 3:15 a.m. for the investigation and cleanup of the wreck.