Massive Trailer Tractor Collision Shuts Down Traffic at I-485

On June 21, around 7:30 AM, an accident involving many tractor-trailers occurred on I-485 in northeast Charlotte, North Carolina. One person lost their life, and another was taken to the hospital by air. Tush-hour traffic came to a stop.

In the morning, a fatal accident happened on Interstate 485 between the intersection of Mallard Creek and Benfield. The outside and inner loops were both reported as being blocked.  There were two damaged tractor-trailers and three damaged cars at the site.

There is no official word on what caused the accident.

Charlotte Fire responded that morning, along with several other services, including a mass casualty bus and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Medical Ambulance Buses, or Mass Casualty Buses, are specially equipped vehicles that can transport and treat several patients at once in situations where there are many casualties beyond the capability of conventional ambulances, such as in cases of major accidents or natural disasters.

Medic reports that after being assessed at the site of the multi-vehicle accident, four individuals involved declined medical treatment.

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) reports that as of the afternoon, maintenance workers were still removing debris from the scene of the accident.

A few steps are already in the works or being explored to make I-485 safer. One is the Express Lanes. Interstate 485 Express Lanes is a project that NCDOT is currently executing. With better traffic flow and less congestion, this initiative hopes to lower accident rates. During peak hours, the fast lanes would supposedly let cars go at least 45 mph, which could reduce traffic-related safety issues. 

Troublesome lane markings on I-485 have been the subject of several complaints, most notably from drivers.  Local Charlotte media have reported lanes that were poorly marked and had signs that were disfigured or spotted.

The highway was anticipated to be closed until Friday afternoon.