A crash Saturday morning seriously injured one man and the resulting vehicle fire closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 77 for two hours.
Trooper Blake Ketner of the North Carolina Highway Patrol reported a Nissan SUV and a Ford pickup hauling an enclosed trailer were involved in the crash. The trailer, the highway patrol reported, was fully engulfed in flames.
Eyewitnesses told troopers the SUV was traveling north in the left lane near the 39 mile marker and the pickup was directly beside them in the right lane. Traffic was slowing ahead and the pickup made a lane change and hit the SUV, pushing it into a guardrail, troopers reported. The pickup and trailer both overturned and immediately caught fire as did the SUV, troopers said.
The driver of the SUV and his two passengers escaped the vehicle with no injuries. Passing motorists helped the pickup driver and his wife from the truck. The driver of the pickup suffered severe burns and was transported by Iredell EMS to Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem. His wife, who sustained minor injuries, rode in the ambulance, troopers said.
Initially emergency personnel requested a medical helicopter but decided to transport via ambulance.
The driver of the pickup was cited for an unsafe lane change.