All lanes on I-77 now open after a fiery truck crash closed Charlotte highway for hours

·3 min read

All northbound lanes on Interstate 77 near uptown Charlotte are open, hours after a tractor-trailer burst into flames on Tuesday morning, closing the highway for hours, officials said.

The lanes reopened by 6 p.m., N.C. Department of Transportation officials said on Twitter.

The truck went off the right shoulder of the interstate for an unknown reason and hit the concrete barrier, causing the truck to go up in flames, state Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Pierce told WSOC. Only the truck was involved in the crash, he said.

I-77 near Freedom Drive was closed after the fire, Charlotte Fire Department officials said on Twitter at 7:42 a.m.

The closure included the collector lanes to John Belk Freeway/Wilkinson Boulevard, NCDOT tweeted. Traffic was backed up for miles, officials said.

Paramedics treated a person at the scene for life-threatening injuries and took the person to a hospital, Medic reported on Twitter.

The bridge on Clarkson Street over I-77 was not damaged and re-opened to traffic, highway officials said.

Troopers said the driver was cited for failure to maintain lane, according to WSOC.

The tractor-trailer was carrying produce, according to the fire department.

Just after 2:30 p.m., crews at the cleanup scene remained “busy,” highway officials said in an update on Twitter.

By then, two of the three northbound lanes had reopened.

A tractor trailer sits on the side of I-77 northbound after catching on fire early morning on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 in Charlotte, NC.
A tractor trailer sits on the side of I-77 northbound after catching on fire early morning on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 in Charlotte, NC.

To avoid delays, drivers were advised to use the I-485 loop to re-access I-77, according to NCDOT.

“Use caution and try to find an alternate route,” fire officials said. “Significant delays in the area please use extreme caution around emergency vehicles.”

At 7:45 a.m., fire crews appeared to have doused the flames, and the burnt truck remained, WSOC reported.

How to avoid long Interstate 77 backups in Charlotte after truck fire near uptown

Packages of Ground Beef Chuck are among the items destroyed when a tractor-trailer burst into flames near uptown Charlotte on Tuesday.
Packages of Ground Beef Chuck are among the items destroyed when a tractor-trailer burst into flames near uptown Charlotte on Tuesday.