Local News

Tractor-trailer crashes in 3 places make for deadly day on Triangle highways

Posted July 1, 2020 2:49 p.m. EDT
Updated July 1, 2020 10:48 p.m. EDT

From the wee overnight hours into the afternoon, tractor-trailer crashes on Triangle-area roads made Wednesday a deadly day.

Just after midnight, two tractor-trailers were involved in a fiery crash on Interstate 85 near Hillsborough. Traffic was detoured onto U.S. Highway 70 for hours near N.C. Highway 86. All lanes reopened to travel around 8 a.m.

Troopers said they responded to the crash at 12:19 a.m. Sean A. Cole of Snellville, Ga., was traveling in a 1999 Kenworth tractor-trailer when he collided in the rear of a 2012 Kenworth tractor-trailer driven by Jeremy P. Pitt of Mooresville. Cole sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Duke University Hospital. Pitt was not injured.

No charges have been made at this time and troopers are continuing the investigation to determine additional contributing factors.

At mid-day, a FedEx truck ran off I-85 and into some trees near Henderson. Branches had to be removed in order to extricate the driver, who was taken by helicopter to Duke University Hospital. Information about the driver's condition was not immediately available.

Both southbound lanes of I-85 were closed at Exit 213 during the rescue effort. A detour took drivers onto U.S. Highway 158 South to avoid the scene.

Around 1 p.m., a crash in Sanford claimed two lives. Police said two tractor-trailers collided head-on at Horner Boulevard (N.C. Highway 421 Business) and Wilkins Drive. The truck headed south crossed the median and hit the truck that was northbound.

Both drivers were killed. Neither person's name has been released.

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