Tractor trailer driver dies in I-85 crash in Orange County

HILLSBOROUGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The driver of a tractor trailer was killed in a crash Friday afternoon on Interstate 85 in Orange County, state troopers said.

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Transportation officials say motorists should avoid northbound Interstate 85 near mile marker 168 in between N.C. 86 and U.S. 70 in Orange County because of the crash. The road reopened shortly after 6 p.m., but heavy congestion remains.

Troopers said it appears the tractor trailer, which was hauling concrete sand, blew a tire, causing it to leave its lane and go off the roadway. It hit a guardrail on the right shoulder, went down an embankment and hit several trees.

The crash started a small fire.

Pictures from Chopper 11 showed the truck overturned in a wooded area off the shoulder.

Skid marks showed the truck plowed through a steel barrier.

The victim's name has not been released, pending notification of family.

One lane of traffic was getting by and vehicles were backed up for miles.

Officials said traffic will likely be backed up in the area for hours while the truck is removed.

Though the lanes have reopened, motorists on I-85 North/I-40 East can keep right at the fork and continue onto I-40 East for 11 miles and take Exit 270 for US-15/US-501 North. Use the two left lanes to turn left onto US-15/US-501 North. Continue on US-15/501 North for 5 miles to reaccess I-85.

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