RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — A police officer and an NCDOT worker were hurt when a tractor-trailer crashed into two patrol cars and an NCDOT vehicle in Archdale.
At about 9:34 p.m. on Wednesday, Archdale police responded to an overturned tractor-trailer on Interstate 85 south, near exit 111, blocking all lanes, according to Archdale police.
At 11:50 p.m., a tractor-trailer heading south failed to slow down and crashed into two Archdale patrol vehicles. An officer, who was inside one of the vehicles, was injured.
“Everybody thinks a fire in a house in dangerous,” Guil-Rand Asst. Fire Chief Chris White said. “Most of our guys seem to think that the highway is more dangerous. We’re out of our vehicles, and folks just really need to slow down.”
The tractor-trailer then hit two vehicles with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Witnesses stopped to watch as the fire consumed the vehicles.
“When I came up on it, I pretty much figured what happened,” Nelson Jackson said. “When I saw the truck and car. How quickly it went up in flames.”
Jackson drives an 18-wheeler, and said he was not surprised at the damage.
“Something with that much weight. You just can’t stop an 18-wheeler in you’re running 70, 75 miles an hour. You just can’t stop it,” Jackson said.
After the crash, police saw diesel fuel leaking from the tractor-trailer onto the highway.
The fuel ignited, and four of the five vehicles caught fire.
The passenger of the tractor-trailer and a transportation worker were both hurt and were taken to a hospital.
An Archdale police officer was hurt and taken to another hospital.
The driver of the 18-wheeler was charged with two misdemeanors: failure to reduce speed, and failure to move over.
Troopers cleared the scene at 4:24 a.m. Thursday, and the road reopened at 6:20 a.m.