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'It’s important to be aware of your surroundings' | Driver's camera captures shocking crash on I-77 in Charlotte

As more and more drivers return to the roads, experts urge safety and caution

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A drive down I-77 south just outside of Uptown turned into a caught-on-camera moment for one motorist who witnessed another car crash underneath a tractor-trailer truck.

Driver Ben O’Morrow said the crash happened late Monday morning near the I-277 interchange. The cameras on his Tesla were rolling as traffic started to slow down, but he says a car in his rearview missed the memo.

“I saw a car behind him coming way too fast obviously,” O’Morrow said.

In the video, you see a Nissan switch lanes, crashing into the car directly behind O’Morrow and also sliding underneath a passing tractor-trailer truck before coming to a stop.

“That whole passenger side from shoulders up was crushed in,” O’Morrow said.

Personal injury law firm James Scott Farrin tracks traffic accidents like this. The law firms said they noticed a trend over the last year that showed less traffic and fewer accidents, but unfortunately more deadly crashes. 

"The fatalities actually increased by about 11 percent in North Carolina,” attorney Jeremy Maddox said.

This deadly trend is also similar nationwide. Experts said crashes like this one can be because of many factors like fewer traffic stops by law enforcement due to COVID-19 safety concerns and as a result of that more people are speeding and fewer people are wearing seatbelts. Another possible factor, a higher likelihood of unsafe cars on the road due to postponed safety inspections. And finally, more tired or intoxicated drivers behind the wheel.

“We expect that there will be more car wrecks this summer especially now that a lot of people are feeling safer to get out in the world,” Maddox said.

When more drivers are out and about experts urge caution and the use of defensive driving tactics.

“It’s important to be aware of your surroundings," Maddox said. "Checking your mirrors when making a lane change or turn.”

WCNC Charlotte is waiting to hear back from North Carolina State Highway Patrol to learn more about the extent of injuries in this crash and if the driver will be facing any charges.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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