'It's horrible': Cars drive through tar in I-77 construction zone

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An equipment malfunction in the Interstate 77 toll lane construction zone resulted in numerous cars being covered in tar.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said late Sunday evening a tack tank machine erupted, which caused tar to spill on the roadway. The incident happened between the Sunset Road and W.T. Harris Boulevard exits.

NCDOT said several vehicles drove through the tar before the contractor was able to block off the lanes.

The equipment belonged to a subcontractor of Sugar Creek Construction, the company building the I-77 toll lanes.

[Report: Nearly 200 more problems found in I-77 toll lane construction zones]

Chadlon Everett was driving home after watching the NBA Finals when he saw cars driving through what appeared to be a puddle. Everett figured it was water, but when he woke up the next day, he discovered his Dodge Challenger was covered in tar.

"I actually thought a female I was dealing with might have thrown paint on my car,” Everett said. “I was, like, ‘What did I do?’ It’s horrible. I kind of don't want to bring it out right now."

The tar covered both sides of his car, tires, rims and undercarriage. Attempts to remove it by hand have been unsuccessful.

"It's just frustrating," he said. "It's coming out of my pocket."

Everett is planning to file a claim with NCDOT and Sugar Creek Construction.

NCDOT officials said one person has already filed a claim. A spokesperson for the department encourages people filing claims to include pictures, a narrative and if possible, a cost estimate.

>> To file a claim with the NCDOT, click here.

Sugar Creek Construction is also encouraging people to file claims through them.

"We are in the process of collecting claims from motorists whose vehicles were impacted and working with the subcontractor to resolve the claims as quickly as possible," Heather DeLapp, with Sugar Creek Construction, said.

>> Claims with Sugar Creek Construction can be filed by emailing claims@sugarcreekllc.us.