Mother killed in I-85 crash with 10-year-old daughter in car identified

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Troopers have identified a woman who died Wednesday night after the vehicle she was driving slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer heading north on Interstate 85 in Gaston County.

Rivera Rodriguez, 41, of Shelby, died in the wreck. First responders said her 10-year-old daughter was hurt in the crash and taken to the hospital. There was no word on how badly the child was injured.

Authorities responded to the crash around 9:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-85, between exits 13 and 14.

The Highway Patrol told Channel 9 that a tractor-trailer stopped in the travel lane because of heavy traffic due to construction in the area. Rodriguez was driving behind the big rig, didn't see that it had stopped and slammed into the back of it going 65 mph, troopers said.

The truck driver is not facing any charges.

From 2011 to 2015 there were 1,400 deaths due to so-called underride wrecks.

New testing shows the Angelwing guard could stop some of those deaths.

Jimmy Davis, who drives a big rig, said he likes the idea of more safety devices.

"All protection is great,” Davis said. “If something is going to improve it, I think it will be great. You know, save a life.”

The American Truckers Association said the guards can cause cracks in the trucks frames and add weight.

"It could make jobs take longer, a lot longer and if you have a pretty long trip, that could be significant," said Jacqueline Ciokajlo, who works for a trucking company.

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