CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Investigators said they positively identified the man found in a car at the Interstate 485 and 77 ramp earlier this month as the man who had been missing for months.
Charlotte deejay Max Espinoza drove through it on May 8 when he crashed and died after an event in Ballantyne, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police confirmed Thursday.
His car and body weren’t found until crews responded to a different crash near that location and saw it overturned in the ravine.
Last week, NCDOT did a risk assessment to see how many people crash there or have gone into the ravine area where Espinoza was found.
Both sides of the crash area have guardrails, but there is an area about 40 feet wide with no guardrail.
There’s about a 30-yard stretch of grass for drivers to stop if they go straight like Espinoza did. The current opening eliminates head-on collisions.
Drivers say a guardrail there is needed.
“If there was something there it might have helped him,” said driver Bill Zaccagnino. “You don’t know how fast he was going. At least it’s something.”
“Which is worse–not being found for three months or hitting the guardrail,” asked driver Chris Elam.
Cables offer more give, but still have an injury risk, officials said. Also, the area is sloped and cables need to be on flat ground to be effective absorbing impacts.