Traffic

Driver dies in fiery tractor-trailer fire on I-40

Posted April 27, 2009 11:28 a.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2009 10:51 p.m. EDT

— The driver of a tractor-trailer died after his vehicle struck a guard rail on Interstate 40, near Gorman Street, and caught on fire late Monday morning, Raleigh police said.

According to a wreck report, the 1993 Ford tractor-trailer was in the center lane of westbound lane and veered to the right, running onto the shoulder and hitting the guardrail. The truck then caught fire, and the driver was trapped in the cab and died in the fire, Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

Witnesses told police that the driver, whose name hasn't been released, appeared to swerve to avoid stopped traffic.

The truck was going 40 mph at the time of impact and left tire impressions 418 feet long, according to the wreck report.

Thick black smoke billowed from the fire and could be seen for miles around.

Traffic backed up as all three westbound lanes were closed at mile marker 296 as emergency personnel worked to control and clear a tractor-trailer fire near Gorman Street. One lane was reopened to traffic around 2 p.m., and the other two were reopened shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Eastbound traffic was congested from mile marker 290 as onlookers slowed to look at the scene, police said.