CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers are investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 77 in south Charlotte, where a driver was reportedly racing another vehicle before crashing into a tractor-trailer.
The crash happened just after 1 a.m. Saturday in the northbound lanes between Tyvola and Woodlawn roads.
Troopers said a silver BMW crashed into the back of the tractor-trailer after leaving Top Golf.
Witnesses told troopers the BMW crossed in and out of lanes at a high rate of speed and may have been racing.
“We located some witnesses that remained at the scene that advised that the vehicle was possibly racing or involved in some aggressive driving with another vehicle,” the trooper said.
The driver, 21-year-old Marcos Perez, was killed in the crash and his 28-year-old passenger, Salman Kahn, was injured.
Troopers believe they were going more than 100 mph when they collided with the tractor-trailer. The car was going so fast, it drove under the rear of the tractor-trailer that was going 55 mph.
Eyewitness News anchor Blaine Tolison spoke to Salman Kahn’s father, Qamar Kahn, who expressed a sense of joy his son survived the crash. He’s also upset his son’s friend died, but a trooper said it’s fortunate several people weren’t killed.
Qamar Kahn said some of his son’s friends went to his house after the crash and told him and his wife their son was gone because they were behind them in another car.
Salman Kahn’s parents met him at the hospital, where he was speaking to troopers and his father said that is when he realized his son was alive.
“I was realizing when he was talking that’s when he’s alive,” Kahn said. “I’m happy for my son, but I’m very upset for his friend because he is a very nice younger man too.”
Kahn said his son told him he was tired that night so he put his seat back, which he thinks may have protected him.
“When they finished the game, he laid down on the seat so that’s the time God saved him,” Kahn said.
Troopers said the crash could have been worse because the BMW could have crashed into a car full of people instead of a tractor-trailer. They are working to find the other car that may have been racing.
The interstate was shut down in the area for two hours on Saturday as police investigated the crash.
Speeding is the top leading factor in deadly crashes across the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It found in 2017, nearly 17 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes were either speeding or racing.
No other information has been released and no arrests have been made.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.
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