CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash that killed a tractor trailer driver after the vehicle went up in flames.
It happened Friday morning on I-485 near the North Lake Centre Parkway Bridge in north Charlotte.
Originally witnesses told troopers that a driver drifted into the on-ramp causing the crash, but they later learned it was an abandoned car left in the road.
“He was unaware that his vehicle had been in a crash and was adamant that it was in a safe spot,” NCSHP Trooper Ray Pierce said.
Trooper Pierce says a man’s car broke down on his way to a job interview, so he left it there.
“Put the four-way flashers on and contacted someone to pick him up,” Trooper Pierce said.
Kenny Maddox, 47, drove trucks for more than 20 years.
He couldn’t avoid the car, hitting it and crashing into the bridge, killing him on impact and causing his tractor trailer to go up in flames.
“It can all happen in the blink of an eye,” Maddox’s co-worker Wade Ellington said.
Ellington says Maddox worked for Mecklenburg Transportation LLC in Swainsboro Georgia. He says it should have been an ordinary trip.
“He was carrying chassies for trailers out of Ohio down to Charleston, South Carolina," he said.
Maddox leaves behind six children and five grandchildren.
“Kenny was a family guy,” Ellington said. “He loved his family, friends. He would do anything for anyone.”
Out of the tragedy, comes a lesson.
“If you find yourself in this position immediately call *47 or 911 because on this interstate that is an emergency situation!” Trooper Pierce said.
Trooper Pierce also says if you see something dangerous, don’t hesitate to call.
Just 15 minutes before this crash, someone did call in to notify them that this car was in a bad spot, but in this case, they weren’t able to get it out of the way in time.
Once the investigating trooper turns the evidence over to the DA, he will determine whether the driver of the other car will face a citation or misdemeanor death charge.