KNIGHTDALE, N.C. — A tractor trailer with 40,000 pounds of peanuts on board cracked wide open on Highway 64 Thursday, right in the middle of the morning rush hour.
Troopers said a car tried to pass the 18-wheeler on 64 East when the driver lost control and hit the truck. The tractor trailer overturned in the westbound lane, sliding and colliding with another vehicle heading west.
Before it was over, the accident involved the 18-wheeler and four other cars.
Andrew Sharp, driving along the same route, saw the whole thing. In fact, he missed being involved by just inches -- leaving thick, long skid marks as he swerved to get out of the way.
"It isn't something I want to do again," Sharp said. "It's horrifying because you don't know where to go, and everyone is sliding in one direction, and you are trying to go in another."
Though the accident lasted just seconds, and injuries were minor, the cleanup took hours. Both lanes of 64 West and one lane of 64 East were closed all morning.
Crews off-loaded peanuts, uprighted the cab and trailer and sopped up 35 gallons of spilled fuel.
Trucker Danney Davis said the driver of the peanut truck, Wesley Ford, did not just lose his load, but for now, his living, too.
"It's frustrating to know your whole livelihood is riding on those 18 wheels," Davis said, "and people make mistakes every day that can cause your livelihood to go down the tubes."
Troopers said the driver of the car that originally passed the truck will be charged with reckless driving.
Three people were taken to the hospital. All have been released.