CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Emergency crews closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 77 in Charlotte for hours Tuesday morning after a pedestrian was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer.
Troopers identified the pedestrian as Brent Dillard.
The driver of the semitruck told troopers that Dillard parked his truck on the shoulder of I-77 near Clanton Road, got out of his truck and stepped in front of the tractor-trailer.
Dillard's truck was still running.
The crash shut down all northbound lanes of I-77 for about five hours during rush hour traffic. All lanes were reopened around noon.
Drivers inched up 13 miles of a busy part of the interstate that stretched from Clanton Road to Sutton Road in Fort Mill, S.C.
“I was supposed to be at work an hour ago, and I had to call them and tell them it wasn't going to happen,” Hailey Selby said.
Selby said she was bumper to bumper with other drivers for nearly 30 minutes.
“People were cutting each other off,” Selby said. “People were riding the side of the lanes to get way ahead of people and everything.”
The store manager at Express Mart said that because of the cars that took the Woodlawn Road exit to escape the standstill, he had more customers.
“Yes. It’s been busy. From 7 to 8, very busy,” Mamdouh Gorgy said.
Driver Jeff Posey said he was on I-77 for only a few minutes, but quickly realized that he made a huge mistake.
"People were cutting people off, getting into the emergency lanes. You had to be paying attention. I'm sure there were a few more fender benders along the route," Posey said. “When you have a wreck on 77 or 485, it impacts everyone in south Charlotte."
The driver of the tractor-trailer will not be charged, troopers said.
Troopers are still investigating why Dillard was near Clanton Road and why he got out of his truck.
They said they spoke to his girlfriend, who told them that his work is nowhere near there.
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