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I-85 shutdown following major accident involving fire engines & tractor trailers

The southbound lanes of I-85 near exit 84 in Rowan County are not expected to open until Tuesday afternoon.

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — The southbound lanes of Interstate 85 were shut down Tuesday morning following a major crash.  

Rowan County Emergency Dispatch said several fire trucks from the Millers Ferry Fire Department were on the scene of an accident involving a tractor-trailer near exit 84 when the trucks were struck by a second tractor-trailer.  

The first incident happened around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday just north of Spencer in Rowan County. 

Emergency crews were called to the scene because a tractor-trailer was on fire. As emergency crews were responding to the scene, a second tractor-trailer slammed into several of the trucks, officials Rowan County confirm.

First responders said the trucks were set up on the highway for shielding, which is designed to protect the emergency officials working at the scene.

The fire trucks took the brunt of the blow, keeping first responders safe. 

“The shielding worked as it was supposed to,” said Allen Cress, interim chief of emergency services for Rowan County. ”One truck crashed into the other one, and it saved firefighters’ lives and hopefully protected others that were out there.”

Millers Ferry Fire Department said other surrounding departments from Salisbury, Davidson, Kannapolis, and Cleveland have all offered their trucks or services to help fill the gap in trucks while the department deals with insurance claims.

The Millers Ferry Fire Department has six trucks in its fleet. According to officials, three of those trucks were damaged in the accident.  

Rowan County Emergency Dispatch said no emergency personnel were injured in the crash. A truck driver was transported to Novant Health Rowan Regional Medical Center.

The southbound lanes of I-85 at exit 84 are expected to remain closed until at least 2 p.m. Tuesday as officials cleared the wreckage and check for a possible oil spill into a nearby waterway.

To get around the accident, take exit 84 for NC-150 W/US-29 S/US-70 W and continue 3 miles. Turn left onto E Jefferson St and continue onto Andrews Street. Continue on Andrews Street to re-access I-85 at Exit 79.

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