CHAPEL HILL State transportation officials urge motorists to avoid northbound Interstate 85 near mile marker 168 between N.C. 86 and U.S. 70 in Orange County due to a crash involving a tanker truck.
I-85 North was closed in Hillsborough at Exit 163, I-40 East, due to a crash. The road is expected to reopen by 7 p.m., three hours later than originally estimated, state officials said in a 3:53 p.m. update Friday.
NCDOT crews were on the scene Friday afternoon while firefighters worked the crash scene. WRAL TV reported that the driver of the tanker truck was killed in what it called a single-vehicle wreck.
WRAL said it was told by authorities, that tire blew on the truck, causing it to leave the road and continue down an embankment. After the truck came to rest, it caught fire.
The name of the driver was being withheld until next of kin could be notified, WRAL reported.
NCDOT offered the following detour advice: Motorists on I-85 North/I-40 East should keep right at the fork and continue onto I-40 East for 11 miles and take Exit 270 for US-15/US-501. Use the two left lanes to turn left onto US-15N/US-501N/Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Continue on US-15/501 North for 5 miles to reaccess I-85.
Once the crash is clear, the NCDOT said crews will need to inspect the roadway for safety before reopening the route.