The NC Highway Patrol told us they got the call at 6:30 Monday morning (Sept. 13th) that a vehicle had veered off northbound Interstate 85 near the Lowell/McAdenville exit and crashed into the woods. After leaving the highway, the vehicle traveled about 450 feet before striking a tree, we were told, then it burst into flames.
The fire so badly damaged the vehicle that the model wasn't identifiabble. The tag was burned so badly it couldn't be read, and the plate where the VIN number is normally seen melted from the heat. The person who was driving was the only occupant, but the fire so destroyed the body that it wasn't at first known whether it was a man or a woman.
A VIN number was found on the underbody of the vehicle and the Highway Patrol is trying to use that information in hopes of determining who the victim was.
What caused the accident is uncertain. "It could have been a medical issue," Trooper Ray Pierce told us. "We don't know. What we do know is that no other vehicle was involved so there was only one victim."
The charred vehicle was removed later in the morning, but the backup on the hithway lasted well over two hours and at one time slowed traffic to a near stand-still all the way to the Bessemer City exit.
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