CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Speed appears to the cause of a fiery crash that took the life of a driver along I-485 early Monday morning.
The calls started coming in a little after midnight from drivers who had just witnessed a terrible collision.
Reports were an SUV had wrapped around a freeway sign along the I-485 outer loop by the highway 160 exit in west Mecklenburg.
Emergency crews raced to the scene. The fire coming from the explosion witnesses reported hearing ran up the pole dozens of feet where the truck had come to rest.
Firefighters worked frantically trying to get to the person inside, but it became clear very early on, this was going to be a tragic accident.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police shut the freeway down as firefighters tried to knock down the flames.
The State Highway Patrol began talking to people who saw what happened, and said they determined that speed played a large part in what happened.
They said the SUV was traveling toward I-77 going close to 100 miles an hour, when the driver lost control.
The vehicle whipped around another car on the freeway, went sideways, and hit the guardrail.
Officials believe that impact sent the SUV into the air, where it collided with a freeway sign pole at the passenger side door.
The impact was so great, the truck was almost cut in half.
There was little rescuers could do. The driver died on the scene.
Troopers said the explosion and fire were so bad, it's impossible at this point to tell who the person was.