Drivers ID'd in fatal I-485 wrong-way crash

Two dead in Wrong Way Crash in South Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Troopers say a wrong-way driver is to blame for a head-on collision that killed two people in south Charlotte.

The crash happened just after 2 a.m. on the I-485 outer loop near Providence Road.

Highway patrol says a driver, later identified as Luis Carlos Menacho, was traveling the wrong way on the interstate for miles when he eventually hit another vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle has been identified by police as 25-year-old Victor Castillo. Both drivers were killed.

A third vehicle side-swiped Menacho's vehicle after the fatal collision. That driver was not seriously hurt.

One couple who lives close to an I-485 on-ramp says they're surprised a crash like this doesn't happen more often.

"There's not a lot of signs either, especially right up the road," said Danielle Ritchotte.

Troopers don't know if alcohol was a factor in the crash. Results from the toxicology report could take a while, according to North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Since 2009, there have been only two other wrong-way crashes on I-485. Neither resulted in death, but alcohol was a factor in both cases.

"[Danielle] made the comment after this wreck, if a car was coming towards her, she would try to get over, but I guess you don't really know what you do until you're in that situation," said Mandy Ritchotte.

All I-485 outer loop lanes were closed as troopers investigated the crash.

Currently, state troopers are looking over traffic cameras to see where Menacho made the wrong turn. So far, they haven't determined where he turned.

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