Troopers: Man killed in fiery crash involving SUV, tractor-trailer in Iredell County

STATESVILLE, N.C. — North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers are investigating a deadly crash involving a tractor-trailer in Iredell County Wednesday morning.

The crash happened around 9 a.m. on Highway 70, near Yellowstone Lane.

Troopers said an SUV crossed the center line, where it was hit head-on by a tractor-trailer hauling wood chips. Then, the SUV caught fire, but witnesses told Channel 9 the flames spread so quickly there was little anyone could do to help the driver.

“The SUV crossed the center line and collided with a tractor-trailer head-on,” Trooper Jeff Swagger said. “After the collision, then a fire ensued. The fire fully involved the car very quickly as soon as the collision occurred.”

The driver of the SUV, 27-year-old Luis Alberto Gamez Martinez, died in the crash.

After the impact, the tractor-trailer swerved out of control, crossing the 4-lane highway where it slammed into a retaining wall next to a home.

The driver of the truck was not hurt in the crash.

Authorities are still working to determine what caused the SUV to cross into the path of the truck.

Those who live near the crash scene told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty their thoughts are with the families of both drivers. They said this is not how anyone wanted to start the new year.

“For the families of the victims, I really hate it for them,” neighbor Jesse Glass said. “It’s a shame. I feel sorry for the family that was killed there in the accident.”

The road was shut down for nearly three hours while troopers investigated the scene and cleared the road.

No other information has been released.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.

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