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Troopers: Wrong-way driver causes I-95 wreck

Posted August 5, 2011

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— A wrong-way driver caused a wreck involving a tractor-trailer that closed Interstate 95 South near the Harnett-Johnston county line Friday afternoon, state troopers said.

James Charles Godwin, 36, of Harnett County, drove a white car the wrong way on an exit ramp and started going north on I-95 South shortly before 3 p.m., troopers said. The car struck a tractor-trailer at Exit 77 to Hodges Chapel Road, south of Benson.

Godwin was flown to Duke University Hospital in Durham, where he was in critical condition, troopers said. He had traumatic injuries to the lower half of his body.

Tractor-trailer wreck on I-95 in Harnett County Sky 5: Tractor-trailer wreck on I-95

The truck driver, Richard Pearsall, was treated for injuries at Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital in Dunn. Troopers said he was doing very well.

Pearsall drove for Bulldog Highway Express and is based in Charleston, S.C.

Troopers said Godwin did not appear to be impaired and there's no indication that alcohol and drugs were a factor.

Troopers didn't expect to file charges before finishing an investigation, which could take up to two weeks. They said investigators planned to talk to Godwin's family and friends to determine what might have caused him to drive the wrong way on the interstate.

All southbound lanes of I-95 were closed and traffic detoured through Dunn for about two hours after the wreck. At one point, southbound traffic backed up for about eight miles, as far as Four Oaks, and northbound traffic for about two miles.

The wreck also spilled oil onto the interstate, which crews cleaned up.

61 Comments

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  • raider Aug 5, 2011

    Glass Half Full and others, thank you for say what I would about PBSM, so I don't have to repeat it!

  • Brogden Aug 5, 2011

    If you had to have a license to post misguided, misinformed statements on GOLO, Proudsingleblackmother would have a gold card! She always posts mean spirited posts that never have any
    correct facts in them. Why in the world would you arrest a truck driver who was hit head on by a car traveling in the wrong direction on an Interstate highway??????

  • Glass Half Full Aug 5, 2011

    PBSM - I'm not sure what it is you're so proud of, it certainly can't be your ability to read and comprehend these stories. You make some of the most hateful comments I see on here. Need to work on your bitterness toward everything it seems.

  • EasyGoer Aug 5, 2011

    "Troopers said Godwin did not appear to be impaired and there's no indication that alcohol and drugs were a factor."
    I can't believe the people NC will give a drivers license to. At least if he were impaired he would have an excuse.

  • North Carolina Home Aug 5, 2011

    "investigators planned to talk to Godwin's family and friends to determine what might have caused him to drive the wrong way on the interstate" from article

    Well that should be interesting. Maybe not illuminating but interesting, nonetheless

  • storchheim Aug 5, 2011

    Missdawg, the spikes point away from the tires if you're going the correct way. Haven't you ever seen those signs in parking lots that say, "Do not back up - Severe tire damage"? But hey, thanks for thinking I would suggest that everyone's tires get shredded. You and slayerhill should buddy up.

    But Mazdaspeed has it entirely and hilariously correct, so never mind!

  • two2294 Aug 5, 2011

    itom68 people are always trying to get in front of a big rig, they think that the truck will hold them back...but yes they do almost always get it front of the big rigs..

  • retiredcfcc Aug 5, 2011

    Reply: OGE
    READ the article, said driver going wrong way on I-95. How's that make the truck driver at fault? I've driven nearly 4 million miles driving trucks along the eastern seaboard, so I think I know alittle about bad drivers. There are both good and bad drivers that drive trucks and cars. But, most the time big rig accidents are caused by the other driver. By the way, those 4 million mile were accident free. I had close calls, some my fault,but mostly the other drivers. So,think before you speak, read the facts before you form an opinion. Have a safe trip.

  • 37 Aug 5, 2011

    I am not sure why asking the age of the car's driver continues to be blocked. It would be helpful for my understanding of the story. Thank you kindly, WRAL.

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Aug 5, 2011

    IDK, DID HE NOT SEE THIS BIG TRUCK COMING AT HIM. OK, SOMEWHAT UNDERSTANDABLE IF THE MAN WAS HAVING AN EMERGENCY, BUT ANYBODY THINK TO BLOW HORNS TO GET ATTENTION??
    I FEEL BAD FOR HIM IF HE WAS HAVING AN EMERGENCY.

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