Local News

Man killed in 'horrific' Nash County I-95 tractor-trailer collision

Posted May 10, 2012 12:17 p.m. EDT
Updated May 10, 2012 10:53 p.m. EDT

— A Georgia man died early Thursday following a major wreck Wednesday night on Interstate 95 involving three tractor-trailers, Rocky Mount police said.

Police said one of the vehicles was traveling southbound in Nash County when it crossed the median and struck two others.

"(It hit) pretty much head-on, going at a high rate of speed," said Keith McGee, division chief for the Rocky Mount Fire Department.

The wreck's cause is still under investigation, and no charges had been filed as of Thursday afternoon.

John Michael Jenkins, of Rincon, Ga., died at 2:42 a.m. at UNC Hospitals Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Another driver, Jerome Kinsey, of Orlando, was taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where he was listed in critical condition Thursday night.

The driver of the third truck, Lacy Downing, of Winston-Salem, was treated for minor injuries at Nash General Hospital and was released.

Northbound I-95 was closed for 13 hours, reopening to all traffic around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

One of the trucks was loaded with used cooking oil which spilled onto the highway and burst into flames.

"I would estimate the flames at 30 to 40 feet," McGee said.

Water from fire hoses only moved the oil and flames around the road, he said.

"As soon as you stopped the water, the fire would start again," McGee said.

It took about an hour for firefighters to bring the flames under control. Crews then had to use dish detergent to remove the oil from the road.

McGee said fire crews are called to the busy stretch of I-95 about five times per week, but that the scene of Wednesday's wreck was particularly horrific.