LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – The North Carolina Highway Patrol says five people, including two children, have been killed following a six-vehicle collision on the south-bound side of I-95 in Robeson County Tuesday afternoon.
Traffic information on the NC DOT website posted around 1 p.m.Tuesday said I-95 was closed south of US-301, and a detour was in place. The NC DOT said the northbound lanes of the interstate reopened at 11:47 p.m. Tuesday, and the southbound lanes reopened just less than a hour later.
According to a press release from Trooper William Henning with the NC Highway Patrol, the crash happened at 12:33 p.m. at mile marker 8 at a work zone where NCDOT workers were painting the roadway.
All six vehicles were traveling south on I-95 and were approaching the work zone when a Volvo tractor trailer failed to slow down and collided with a Dodge pick-up truck. The Dodge pick-up was then pushed into the rear of a Ford Explorer SUV. The Ford Explorer then was pushed into the rear of the Ford Escape SUV.
The Volvo tractor trailer continued traveling southbound, uncontrolled, on I-95, striking a Freightliner tractor trailer in the rear and igniting the gasoline that was being hauled in the tanker. The Freightliner tractor trailer was then pushed into a Kenworth tractor trailer.
The original Volvo tractor trailer continued traveling off of the roadway onto the right shoulder, and caught on fire.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol released the names and ages of the victims Wednesday morning.
Michael Elliott Bricker, 68, of Myrtle Beach, was killed while driving the Volvo tanker involved in the collision.
The other four victims were all in one vehicle and from Goose Creek, South Carolina:
- Elise Ann Spennati, 32
- Cole Allen Spennati, 25
- Aila Spennati, 4
- Sianna Spennati, 1
A man and a woman from Charleston who were in the Ford Explorer were taken to UNC Chapel Hill with serious injuries, but both were reportedly in stable condition according to Trooper Henning.
The driver of the Ford Escape was from Kansas City and was taken to Florence Medical Center with serious injuries, but was reported stable Wednesday. Two more people were checked by emergency services and released at the scene, the release says.
News13 viewer Vicki Harding Sorensen posted a photo from I-95 with visible smoke coming from the area. According to Sorensen, many motorists have been stuck in the area since 12:45 p.m. and people were walking around on the interstate.
To detour heading north, motorists must take Exit 2 for NC-130 North and turn left onto NC-130 North. Continue onto NC-130 North to US-301 North/Bond Street. Follow US-301 North to re-access I-95 North.
To detour heading south, take Exit 10 for US-301. Turn right onto US-301 South. Continue for 9 miles and turn left onto NC-130 East/E Main Street. In one mile re-access I-95.
Trooper Sonny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol urged drivers to use caution near the state line as the crash was slowing traffic into South Carolina.