4 dead in crash on I-85S in University City, police say

CHARLOTTE — Four people died in a crash on Interstate 85 in University City Tuesday afternoon, paramedics said.

The collision happened around 4:45 p.m. on I-85 South at University City Boulevard and West W.T. Harris Boulevard.

I-85 South was closed until about 10:15 p.m.

>> CLICK for Channel 9′s Live Traffic Map

“This is a very serious accident, please avoid the area,” MEDIC asked.

Channel 9 reached out to North Carolina State Highway Patrol and learned the names of the victims of the crash and a brief narrative of what happened.

According to NCSHP, the victims were riding in a Ford truck that hit an improperly parked dump truck on I-85 South. All four victims were from Charlotte and were in the same vehicle.

The victims of the I-85 South crash have been identified as Edwin Orlando García Vigil, Miguel Ángel Portillo Arias, Mercedes Arturo García and Kevin Turcios.

García Vigil’s wife spoke with Telemundo Charlotte on Wednesday. She said her husband and García were brothers, and also said all four victims were family. She said she was seven months pregnant and lost not only her husband, but her brother and her brother-in-law in the crash.

NCSHP said the crash is still being investigated, at this point they are trying to figure out where each of the victims was sitting in the vehicle when it struck the dump truck.

‘There’s nothing else I could do’

Witness Darrius Sellers pulled up to the crash.

“Initially, my thought was, it was just your everyday accident,” Sellers told Channel 9 Tuesday night.

He saw two heavily damaged trucks and got out to help.

“I tried to pull the door handles on the driver’s side,” Sellers said. “I yanked as hard as I could and ended up pulling the door handle off.”

Sellers said he saw two people and flames growing inside this black pickup truck.

“At the time, the driver was, he was fighting, but smoke just was filling the cab,” Sellers said. “And it filled up really fast. It filled up really fast.”

Sellers said his priority was getting a fire extinguisher.

“As soon as I started to spray the flames, the whole vehicle exploded,” he said. “Like all the windows busted out. And it was pretty much at that point, nothing we could do. There’s nothing else I could do.”

Sellers wants the victims’ grieving families to know dozens of people battled smoke and flames to try to rescue their loved ones.

“People in Charlotte, North Carolina still care about other people,” Sellers said. “And I just want you to know my thoughts and my prayers are with you guys.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Locust chase ends in Charlotte crash; driver had missing teen in car, police say)