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North Carolina truck accident kills 1, closes highway

A section of I-85 in North Carolina was closed after a commercial truck accident occurred, killing a driver and creating a large explosion. The truck crash occurred shortly before 2 a.m. when an 18-wheeler truck struck another from behind, causing both vehicles to sustain severe damage.

While no one directly witnessed the truck accident, one man who was working at a nearby business said he and his co-workers heard a loud explosion at the time of the crash. He claims to have heard a second explosion shortly after the first. About five minutes after the explosions, he reportedly saw smoke and flames rising from the area from which the sound came, followed by fire trucks responding to the accident. He claimed that the flames were approximately four stories tall.

Gastonia police officers said the explosion killed one of the truck drivers involved in the crash and caused most of his truck to burn. The fire consumed almost all of the truck, with the exception of the wheels and some other areas. The driver of the other truck was taken to a hospital to be treated for his injuries, but was released soon after.

Following the crash, police closed off a part of the highway, rerouting traffic to other roads. Police say that traffic was affected for the entire day due to the accident. The North Carolina Highway Patrol will continue to investigate the incident, but have not announced plans to file any charges. Police have identified both drivers, neither of whom are North Carolina residents.

Source: WBTV, "I-85 reopens after driver killed in massive wreck in Gastonia," Ron Lee, Oct. 13, 2011

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