Cleanup could take several days after fiery wreck on Interstate 73 that resulted in driver being charged

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A tractor-trailer loaded with 8,500 gallons of gasoline ignited on Interstate 73, sending a plume of flame and smoke visible for miles.

Now the driver has been charged with exceeding a safe speed, according to Highway Patrol.

At 7:35 a.m. Thursday, troopers responded to a wreck involving the overturned tractor-trailer on the I-73 south bridge over I-85 north.

Carl Wilson Throckmorton II, 40, of Scottsburg, Virginia, was driving south on I-73 from Greensboro to Asheboro.

Troopers said Throckmorton exceeded the safe speed for an icy roadway and lost control of the truck.

The tractor-trailer hit a snowbank and a concrete bridge safety barrier before overturning.

The driver managed to get out of the truck before it erupted in fire.

Throckmorton was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"Icy roads will continue to pose a threat to drivers," Highway Patrol said in a news release. "Drivers need to anticipate the fact these dangerous conditions could still be present."

Structural engineers will inspect the bridge to see if it was damaged. Officials will not reopen the bridge until it is deemed safe.

Pinecroft Sedgefield Fire Chief Steve Allred said the entire cleanup could take several days, but the gas spill was fully contained Thursday night.

He said crews had a challenging attack in their response Thursday morning.

"We had heavy plumes of smoke across the highway, we had heavy plumes of smoke over here, we had another fire right beside 85, we had a small explosion right beside it where it blew out of the storm drains. So, we really didn't know what we had or where we had it," he said.

No one else was injured in the crash.

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