4 killed in wrong-way crash on I-85 in Cabarrus County, troopers say

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Four people were killed in a suspected wrong-way crash on Interstate 85 in Kannapolis, highway patrol said.

The crash involved six vehicles, highway patrol told Channel 9. It happened around 7 p.m. Tuesday on I-85 South, just south of Lane Street.

Troopers said a 2006 Nissan with three people inside was driving north on I-85 South when it hit a 2021 Hyundai head-on. That crash started a chain reaction that involved four other vehicles, all of which were all driving south, investigators said.

There were multiple patients airlifted to hospitals and Channel 9 learned two were in critical condition. According to highway patrol, the following people died in the crash:

  • The Nissan’s driver: Jack Lee Hudson, 78, from China Grove. Died at the scene.
  • The Nissan’s front passenger: Margie Kindley Hudson, 77, from China Grove. Died at the hospital.
  • The Nissan’s backseat passenger: Debbie Sue Gulledge, 41, from Waynesboro. Died at the scene.
  • The Hyundai’s driver: Robert Dion Wilson, 44, from Magnolia in Duplin County, NC. Died at the hospital.

“Very nice people,” said Mike Upright, the landlord of the Hudson family. “I never had a harsh word with them the whole time they were there. It really is sad. They were good people.”

No details about the passengers in the four other cars, including their injuries, were immediately made available by the highway patrol.

All southbound lanes of the interstate near the Old Beatty Ford Road exit were closed. The lanes reopened before 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Troopers said they are still investigating why Hudson was allegedly driving the wrong way.

Return to this story for updates.

(VIDEO: Kannapolis police bridge language barrier in community with bilingual officers)

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