4 members of Belmont family killed as driver going 100+ mph causes I-485 wrecks, trooper says

Matthew and Andrea Obester and their daughters, Violet, left, and Elizabeth were killed in a...
Matthew and Andrea Obester and their daughters, Violet, left, and Elizabeth were killed in a wreck on Interstate 485 in Charlotte Friday night. Also pictured is their son, Jacob, far right, who was not in the car.(COURTESY OF LYNN SHERRILL)
Updated: Jul. 5, 2020 at 8:27 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Charlotte Observer) - Five people were killed, including four members of a Belmont family, in a series of crashes on Interstate 485 Friday night started by a driver speeding at over 100 mph, authorities said.

A State Highway Patrol trooper was critically injured Saturday morning after returning to the scene to shut down the highway again to further investigate the wreck, Trooper Ray Pierce told The Charlotte Observer.

Matthew and Andrea Obester and their daughters, Violet and Elizabeth, were killed in one of the collisions, Matthew Obester’s mother, Lynn Sherrill, told the Observer.

Pierce said the names of those killed and injured will be released once troopers complete their investigation and make their report public, possibly on Monday. He said the name of the hospitalized trooper could be released later Saturday, after family members are contacted.

The speeding driver began the chain of wrecks at about 7:50 p.m. after hitting a box truck whose driver was traveling on the I-485 Outer Loop near the W.T. Harris Boulevard exit in north Charlotte, according to the trooper. The speeding driver was trying to pass the truck, Pierce said.

The box truck driver lost control. veered off the left shoulder, into the median and through cable barriers before heading into oncoming traffic on the I-485 Inner Loop, Pierce said.

The box truck driver hit a car after striking an SUV in which a man and his wife and their 7- and 12-year-old children were riding, according to the trooper.

All four family members in the SUV and an occupant of the car were pronounced dead at the scene, Pierce said. The other person in the car remained hospitalized with life-threatening injuries Saturday, Pierce said.

The box truck driver was hospitalized with a broken arm, broken wrist and several broken ribs, the trooper said.

The driver who faces speeding and other charges suffered a broken neck and was in stable condition at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte Saturday, Pierce said.

The trooper in critical condition was hit about 7:45 a.m. Saturday on the I-485 Outer Loop. Troopers returned to the scene Saturday morning to deploy a drone to photograph the scene and to conduct other parts of the investigation, Pierce said.

A car driver hit the trooper’s car, which then hit the trooper, according to Pierce. That wreck is under investigation, and it was not immediately known if charges would be filed, he said.