A tractor-trailer driver was killed on Interstate 85 South Wednesday afternoon when his windshield was smashed by a spare tire that fell off another vehicle, investigators said. Rescue personnel from Vance and Granville Counties work to free the body of a truck driver who died in this accident involving a tractor-trailer that rolled over after being struck by a spare tire that fell free from another vehicle and crashed through the rig’s windshield. The victim’s name was being withheld Wednesday night because family members had yet to be notified, according to 1st Sgt. Larry Parker of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. The spare tire death accident occurred about 1 p.m. between the U.S. 158 Bypass bridge in Vance County and the Granville County line.
After being hit in the windshield by thespare tire – which was mounted on a steel rim – that had bounced from the truck-trailer combo in front of him, the big-rig driver ran off the left side of the interstate. The Highway Patrol said the vehicle traveled about 15 feet into a tree line and came to rest on its side. The driver hit by the spare tire was still alive when the first officers arrived at the scene, but was pinned inside the truck and died about the time a UNC Hospitals helicopter landed on the highway in hopes of carrying him to an emergency room.
It took rescue workers from Vance and Granville counties several hours to free the victim’s body from the wreckage. When a Dispatch photographer left the scene about 4 p.m., the victim – one arm completely trapped in the mangled cab – still was inside the truck. Authorities said the spare tire came from under a trailer being towed by a Ford F-250 pickup truck that drove away from the scene as the accident happened behind it. Another tractor-trailer driver witnessed the incident and relayed information about the F-250 to the Highway Patrol. The pickup truck was pulled over in Orange County and it and its occupants – reportedly two men – were brought back to the site of the wreck.
Parker said the driver of the F-250 was charged with failing to secure its load (spare tire) and with a count of misdemeanor death by vehicle. Neither man from the suspect vehicle was identified Wednesday night.The southbound lane of I-85 was closed from the Poplar Creek Road exit in Vance County to the U.S. 158 exit in Granville County. Southbound traffic was rerouted onto Poplar Creek Road and then on to U.S. 158 Bypass.Troopers were able to reopen the interstate about 4:30 p.m., but it was closed again roughly five hours later, just long enough that the truck itself – in several pieces – could finally be removed from the scene.
Willis is a nationally recognized trial lawyer with extensive knowledge, resources with an extensive record of handling catastrophic injury and death cases nationwide. Both have gained a national reputation as a leading personal injury lawyers. The Willis law firm specializes in the prosecution of serious injury cases, involving burns, paralysis, brain damage, closed head injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and wrongful death suits resulting from rollovers, tire defects, auto truck accidents, trucking acccidents, spare tire failures, roof crush, roof collapse failure, seat belt defects, airbag deployments, door lock openings and other crashworthiness issues.
If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been injured or died in a SUV, van or truck rollover accident, defective tire, tire de-tread, tire separation, loose spare tire injury, roof crush or as a result of airbag or seatbelt defect and you believe that the design or defect in the vehicle itself or the negligence of others caused your injuries or losses, then e-mail us your questions and concerns on our Free SUV Rollover Evaluation Form or call Toll Free and talk to a lawyer at 1-800-883-9858.