Car crashes into tractor trailer, bursts into flames after driver falls asleep at wheel

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- A car burst into flames after the driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit a parked big rig early Wednesday morning in Greensboro.

According to the N.C. Highway Patrol, the car was heading northbound on I-85 around 3:15 a.m. when the driver fell asleep and hit a tractor trailer.

The driver of the tractor trailer had pulled over to check a map.

The car was fully engulfed in flames when officials arrived on the scene.

The driver of the car sustained minor injuries.

Troopers say they believe the driver of the car was going 50-60 mph when he crashed.

The crash shut down the highway for more than two hours, but reopened to traffic as of 6 a.m.


  • Sandman

    Must have been all that Ambien he took thinking it was aspirin. He can use the Kennedy defense. Surely he want remember. Glad the driver is ok.

    • Mark

      He should have smoked some pot. He would have slept well and awoken rested and alert. Government sponsored drugs are not the answer to all one’s problems as Big Pharma would have you believe.

  • richard

    As a truckdriver,I have never understood why a driver would pull on the shoulder of an interstate,unless its impossible to make it to a ramp,rest area,or some other safe place.

    • shooter

      Amen richard. What an idiot truck driver. Should be fired and charged with accident. Anyone ,cars or trucker,whose vehicle is driveable is an IDIOT to park on the shoulder !

      • tamip

        This is not in any way the truckers fault. The idiot behind the wheel of the car caused the accident. I see no problem in using the shoulder to check a map. In that area there are few places to pull off. Also thar area xan be confusing to people who dont live here. I came thru there about a week ago with my trainer and when i got on the bypass he thought i was going the wrong way. He is a idiot anyway but i told him this is the loop around greensboro. If i went the other way i would go right thru greensboro and both ways end up coming back together again.

      • C-lo

        Agreed. As a former driver myself, I usually tend to side with the trucker, but not here. Stopping on the shoulder on an Interstate highway is something you just don’t do unless you have no choice (truck breaks down, flat steer tire, etc.), and it should be illegal. Don’t do it in my car, and I never did it in the truck. Not cool.

  • richard

    @ Tamp,using the shoulder when their are other alternatives is not being a defensive truckdriver.Drivers pulling from a deadstop onto a 65mph roadway is dangerous.Not to mention sleepy and careless drivers,ie this story,creates another avoidable situation.Good thing it wasnt another truck or the map would have been no use to the shoulder parked driver….Just an FYI,if traffic isnt bad going through GBO,its 5 minutes quicker than the bypass..

  • dewey

    wow….you tools are gonna blame the truck driver….there is no wall-to-wall traffic @ 3:15AM….you have NO argument there….if the truck was backing up then you could blame the truck driver…and BTW, richard, you didn’t get the only CDL in existence…i’m willing to bet you AREN’T one now….and after the traffic @3:15AM thing, you probably shouldn’t have a regular drivers license as well

    • richard

      No wall to wall traffic but potentially sleep drivers and impaired drivers.Dont know what youre talking about the 315 traffic,my fyi was a hypothetical to help the driver out next time..Thanks cupcake.

  • PCDoctorNC

    If the car was parked on the shoulder and the Tractor Trailer driver had run into the car, no one would even be questioning the driver of the car’s reasons for parking on the shoulder to “check a map.” Stop blaming commercial truck drivers for every wreck. The driver of the car fell asleep, veered out of the driving lane and hit the first obstacle it encountered. Thank God it was a tractor trailer and not a family in a min-van that had pulled off to the side.

  • richard

    Im just saying it was preventable on both ends.Most “PROFESSIONAL”truck drivers know to drive in a defensive manner,and to me and most trucking company safety departments,parking on the shoulder of an interstate is not safe or smart.Their are periodically accidents involving fatalities because of someone on the shoulder,whether its avoidable or not,which in this case was avoidable.

  • B

    I know one thing for sure, there’s a lot of sleepy drivers out there at 3AM along with drunk drivers. It’s not safe period. The shoulder of the highway should be used for emergency stopping due to mechanical or medical reasons. You stop at you’re own risk even in those cases because bad drivers ( texting, impairment, sleeping, speeding etc.) are out and about at all times. An off-ramp would have been safer for all concerned but even the police and emergency vehicles get struck by motorist.

  • shooter

    Anyone that thinks parking on the shoulder only inches from 70+ mph traffic is an idiot. Not worth arguing with. I too still drive a tractor trailer with 3.9 million safe miles. A professional driver will never park on the shoulder when any other options are available. No the trucker didn’t cause this wreck but his stupid action involved him.

    • richard

      Not to mention illegal in many states.Do that in Virginia and you will get a citation.You usually see the same several companies parking on shoulders.Maybe their driving training schools dont cover that.

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