Abandoned car caused deadly tractor-trailer crash on I-485, troopers say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials said an abandoned car caused a deadly tractor-trailer crash that shut down Interstate 485 near Northlake for hours.

The crash happened just before 10 a.m. Friday on the outer loop of I-485 north near West W.T. Harris Boulevard under the bridge at Northlake Centre Parkway.

Troopers said a tractor-trailer heading northbound on I-485 hit an abandoned black car, flipped and burst into flames. The truck driver died at the scene.

His name hasn't been released, but Channel 9 learned he is from Georgia.

Officials originally said the driver of the black car hit the tractor-trailer and ran away, but later learned the car had been abandoned earlier in the day.

The car's owner told troopers his car broke down while he was on the way to a job interview, so he turned on his hazard lights, pulled the car as close to the shoulder as he could and left it.

It's unclear if he left the car in the middle of the road or on the side, but troopers said a witness called before the crash saying the car was partially in the road.

Troopers told Channel 9 the driver is not facing charges at this point, but they are still investigating.

Plumes of black smoke could be seen in the air as firefighters worked to put out the flames from the burning truck.

Eyewitness News reporter Anthony Kustura was there and talked to a father and son who said they saw the smoke from a mile away before driving to the area to check it out.

"There was just a cloud of smoke all the way up into the sky," said Christopher Shelton. 'You could just smell burning rubber."

Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the crash, and traffic could be seen backed up for miles in both directions.

The road reopened just after 3:30 p.m.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.