ELKIN — Authorities said three tractor-trailers got tangled up Friday morning in a wreck that caused havoc to motorists during the morning commute, sent one person to the hospital, and affected traffic on I-77 for miles.
Police say the at-fault driver was traveling southbound on I-77 and did not notice that traffic in front of him had come to a stop. The truck hit another tractor-trailer, causing it to smash into and “push under” a third trailer.
According to authorities, the at-fault driver has yet to be identified because he was injured and was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem.
North Carolina Highway Patrol Officer Terry Bullington indicated that the unknown driver was driving a truck from Curtis Kyles Trucking, Inc. The truck crashed into William Belser of Conyers, Ga. Belser crashed into Craig Gladson of Muldraugh, Ky.
Belser drives a tractor for Roehl Transport Inc, of Marshfield, Wisc. Gladson was driving for Schneider National Carriers of Gary, Ind.
Belser and Gladson did not sustain any injuries.
Police say the Kyles Trucking driver had reportedly spend the night at an undisclosed location in Mount Airy and had rested for 10 hours.
“He got on the road this morning and got back to work,” said Bullington. “He didn’t see that traffic had stopped ahead of him.”
Officials say calls came into 911 reporting an accident at 7:55 a.m. The accident occurred in-between mile marker 84 and 85.
In an unrelated police-investigated incident, which occurred at the America’s Best Value Inn off I-77, highway authorities were forced to shut down the interstate for several hours shortly before 7:15 a.m in both directions between mile markers 79 and 82.
The lane closures backed up traffic along the interstate.
Police say the Kyles Trucking driver is likely to be cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision.
After contacting Kyles Trucking, a representative refused to publicly disclose the identity of its employee, or comment further on the investigation, but indicated that they have been in touch with the driver and that he’s going to be fine.
“We’re concerned about the safety of our employees,” said the representative from Kyles Trucking, Inc.