BENSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A fiery crash that closed northbound I-95 for seven hours Sunday was possibly caused by the repaving of a section of the highway in Johnston County, officials said.
The wreck was reported just after 5 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-95 between mile markers 78 and 79, which is just south of Benson, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Both directions of I-95 were initially closed, but southbound lanes reopened within 30 minutes.
Until just after midnight Sunday, northbound drivers were forced to take a detour at exit 77, which is Hodges Chapel Road near Dunn.
The wreck happened when the driver of a tractor-trailer was heading north and ran off the road, hit a device to slow vehicles, and then hit concrete barriers, according to North Carolina Trooper M.C. Raynor.
For a short time, the tractor-trailer was traveling on top of the concrete barrier, Raynor said.
The big rig then crossed the lanes and crashed into a barrier on the left side of the northbound lanes.
After that, the cab of the truck caught fire and burned. The fuel from the fire came from the tanks on the cab, Raynor said.
The wreck happened in a work zone of I-95 and is still under investigation.
But, Raynor said the repaving of the highway is a possible cause of the wreck.
“We believe that roadway surface conditions may have something to do with it,” Raynor said.
The driver of the truck was injured and taken to WakeMed in Raleigh but is expected to recover.
No other vehicles were involved and no one else was injured, according to Raynor.