I-Team reconstructs deadly I-95 crash that left 5 dead

LUMBERTON, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Wednesday that the driver of the tanker truck that started the deadly chain reaction Tuesday wasn't speeding - but didn't slow down fast enough.

That leaves questions, of course, about why. And whether anything might have been different had the road been wider than two lanes.

Despite the fact we know how the crash started and roughly how it happened, we don't know why the driver of that tanker, 68-year-old Mike Bricker, didn't slow down.

Bricker was one of five people killed in the crash.

RELATED: Why aren't narrow stretches of I-95 being widened?

His company, Blue Mountain Transport, which is based in Mount Airy, said little. But speaking to the ABC11 I-Team by phone, they told us they have no idea what happened.

"It's a tough time right now," a company official said. "We don't know what happened out there, and we don't expect to find out."

WATCH: Animated reconstruction of the wreck
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How the accident happened

What we know:
  • All six vehicles were heading south on 95, with just two narrow lanes in each direction.

  • They were heading into a work zone. And the driver of a Volvo tanker truck carrying gasoline didn't slow down in time.

  • He rear-ended a Dodge pickup, that ran into a Ford Explorer.

  • The Explorer then hit a Ford Escape.

  • At this point, the tanker, out of control, slams into the back of a Freightliner.

  • That truck slammed into another big rig.

  • Somewhere in there, the gas ignites.

  • The freightliner, now a ball of flames, barrels through the median and stops on the northbound side of 95.

  • The tanker goes off the side of the southbound lanes, leaving wreckage behind.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the Highway Patrol emphasized it is not assigning blame to Bricker, the driver of that Volvo truck.

RELATED: 4 family members among 5 killed in I-95 crash

The crash shut down both directions of I-95 for almost 12 hours near Exit 10 in Robeson County.

It could take weeks or even months for state investigators to piece together all the details.

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