ROWLAND — Robeson County Sheriff Ken Sealey has confirmed there are at least three people dead following a fiery, multi-vehicle wreck on Interstate 95 that took place around 1 p.m. today.
Information on the names of the deceased and where they are from was not available. Sealey told WRAL-TV “at least three” and maybe four people were dead. The number of injured was not available.
Interstate 95 has been closed down in both directions between mile markers two and 10 because of the accident that involved at least three tractor trailers and as many cars.
The crash occurred near mile marker 7, between U.S. 301 and the South Carolina state line, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Katie Trout said. Southbound lanes are expected to remain closed until midnight, a North Carolina Department of Transportation social media post said. Northbound lanes will be reopened soon.
According to the Department of Transportation, the accident occurred at 1:04 p.m. outside the McDonald community.
The accident involved three tractor-trailer rigs and multiple private vehicles, Stephanie Chavis, the director Robeson County Emergency Management, said. Two of the tractor-trailer rigs, one of which was carrying 500 gallons of gasoline, caught fire. Two sport utility vehicles also caught fire.
One tractor-trailer rig tried to avoid the crash by crossing into the northbound lanes, Chavis said. The rig crossed the lanes, drove into the bordering trees and caught fire.
A special response team out of Fayetteville was called to handle hazardous material at the scene, Chavis said. Also working the scene are personnel from the Department of Transportation, the state Highway Patrol, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, paramedics, firefighters and Emergency Management.
“The fires have been contained, but some of the vehicles are still smoking,” Chavis said about 3:30 p.m. today.
Northbound motorists must take Exit 2 and turn left onto N.C. 130 North. Continue onto N.C. 130 North to U.S. 301 North. Follow U.S. 301 to get back to Interstate 95 North.
Southbound, take Exit 10 and turn right onto U.S. 301 South. Continue for nine miles and turn left onto state N.C. 130, or East East Main Street, to turn onto Interstate 95 South.
Detours have been set up as far up Interstate 95 as exit 17 near Lumberton
Sealey said his office has a command post set up near the accident scene.
The accident comes a day after a double-fatality in Robeson County. The Robesonian has been unable to get information on that fatality because all available troopers were working on Tuesday, including many at the scene of the I-95 accident. The Robesonian will continue to provide information on both deadly accidents on robesonian.com as it becomes available.