CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A deadly crash had the inner loop of Interstate 485 blocked for several hours in northeast Charlotte early Monday morning.
The wreck happened around 2:45 a.m., just south of Interstate 85.
The Highway Patrol told Channel 9 a car was speeding on Interstate 85 northbound when the driver took the exit ramp to I-485 inner. The car was going too fast though and left the road, hitting a culvert and flipping, according to troopers.
The driver was thrown from the car and died at the scene. His name has not been released.
Investigators said the car was going so fast that after it flipped and ended up back on I-485, coming to rest in the inner loop lanes. That’s when two other cars crashed into it.
Nobody else was seriously hurt.
The crashes triggered a heavy response from several agencies, including the Highway Patrol, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, MEDIC and the Charlotte Fire Department.
While on the scene, Channel 9 could see some extensive damage to the cars involved, including a mangled sedan and a red car that looked to have veered off the road. We also saw troopers assessing the damage and taking photos for their investigation.
I-485 has seen so many violent crashes that troopers created a new taskforce to help make sure drivers stay safe -- and troopers told Channel 9 they’ve already issued thousands of violations.
Troopers said the two big issues they’ve been seeing are drivers going too fast and not wearing their seat belt, which is what contributed to Monday morning’s deadly crash.
Tropper Ray Pierce told Channel 9 that the Highway Patrol has seen several similar crashes recently, including one on I-77 last week and five others over the last 10 days in Cleveland County.
“We had an increase in speeding crashes and those that aren’t wearing their seatbelts,” Pierce said.
Following a crash in July that killed five people along I-485 near Oakdale Road, troopers launched an effort to get drivers to slow down.
From July 20 to Aug. 14, troopers and deputies patrolled the northside of I-485. They found 3,800 violations -- with more than half (2,180) being for speeding. Of those speeders, 1,088 were going 15-25 mph over the speed limit -- meaning they were going 85-95 mph.
‘You would be amazed,” Pierce told Channel 9. “You would think that if you are stopping someone going 90-plus, that they might have a good reason. A wife in labor or something of that nature. But a lot of times, it’s just someone out to lunch, someone going home during work for lunch. Someone going home during work hours. No one had a credible reason for going that fast.”
Pierce said enforcement numbers show crashes were down on I-485 compared to July 2019. Still, with fewer cars on the road because of the pandemic, it’s hard tell the true impact.
Troopers said they plan to kick off another round of enforcement on I-485 in October.
Authorities have not said what led up to the crash or if anyone will face charges.
The interstate was shut down for several hours while the collision was under investigation.
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