CHEROKEE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – All southbound lanes of Interstate 85 reopened Wednesday evening as repairs were completed following a deadly accident involving two tractor-trailers.
The accident happened around 8:10 p.m. Tuesday at mile marker 106 near Blacksburg. The Cherokee County Coroner said the driver of an 18-wheeler was killed after it left the northbound lanes, crossed through the median and cable barriers and struck a tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes.
The collision caused a massive fire that burned both large vehicles.
The driver of the 2007 Freightliner that went off the northbound side of the road was killed. The coroner says the victim was burned beyond recognition and dental records will be needed to make an identification.
“It was hard to tell it was two trucks,” said a witness to 7 News. “You could see the back doors of each truck still standing and everything else was just demolished and up in flames. It was about 50 to 60 yards of flames behind the truck because there was some liquid on the guardrail just burning.”
A driver and passenger in the 18-wheeler that was struck were rescued by a passerby according to the coroner. Both people in the second tractor-trailer were from New Jersey and were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation says both northbound lanes of I-85 at the crash scene are open, but one southbound lane remains closed.
We’re told approximately 300 feet of asphalt in both southbound lanes was damaged by the accident and fire. Crews will repair one lane of pavement and shift traffic into the other lane to complete the work. That is expected to take until Wednesday night.
SCDOT says about 400 feet of guardrail was damaged. It will take until Thursday night to repair.
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