Motorcyclist knocked from bike by crash debris, fatally struck by tractor trailer

Caroline Hicks | WBTV
Caroline Hicks | WBTV

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte man has been identified after he was run over by a tractor-trailer on the interstate early Monday morning during a series of crashes.

The crash happened on Interstate 85 southbound near North Graham Street at Exit 40. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the wreck occurred around 1:30 a.m.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says the chain reaction started when a woman ran off the side of the road and crashed into a disabled pickup truck on the right shoulder of the road. The crash sent debris to be thrown into the road.

Michael McDowell, driving a motorcycle, hit the debris in the road and was thrown from the motorcycle into the middle of the roadway. Another driver, in a 2017 Mitsubishi, saw McDowell thrown from his motorcycle and pulled over to help. According to troopers, the driver stopped his vehicle partially on the roadway and the left shoulder to get out and help.

The man pulled McDowell to the left shoulder median wall to get him out of the road. He then went back to his vehicle to move it completely out of the roadway.

Before the driver could get back to his car, a tractor-trailer driver crashed into his Mitsubishi while looking down at the debris in the road from the initial crash, according to troopers. The driver lost control of the big truck and ran off the left shoulder of the road - striking McDowell.

McDowell was killed in the impact.

The truck driver, Jerry Wilson, is facing charges of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Charges are pending against the driver in the initial crash.

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