SMITHFIELD, NC— North Carolina State Highway Patrol officials have said that fatigue was a factor in a violent crash that ripped apart a tractor-trailer Tuesday morning on Interstate 95 in Smithfield.
The crash was reported at approximately 3:11 a.m. and occurred on I-95 southbound at mile marker 95, authorities said. The area around mile marker 95 was shut down and the U.S Route 70 business overpass was also shut down.
According to the N.C. Highway Patrol, the driver, identified as 54-year-old Chesley Barnes, of Maxton, ran off the road, hit a guardrail and then hit the concrete support for the overpass. The support is cracked and NCDOT engineers will be needed to evaluate the support beams.
Officials said Barnes was transported to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.
The truck was carrying frozen chicken, not live chickens as authorities had originally said. The owner of the truck is Mountaire Farms out of Lumber Bridge.
The crash had shut down the interstate in the area for hours, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said. Interstate 95 reopened around 11:45 a.m. but U.S. 70 at the Market Street bridge will remained closed.
Barnes has been charged with careless and reckless driving.