Statesville woman airlifted from five-car crash

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Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 4:00 pm

A Statesville woman was airlifted from a crash Wednesday night that involved five vehicles and shut down both sides of Interstate 77 for more than two hours.

Shelia Adams, 47, of Statesville was one of three people injured in the crash, according to N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crouse.

Crouse said the crash occurred around 8:30 p.m. when a tractor-trailer, driven by Gregory Crawford, 41, of South Carolina, struck the rear of one vehicle, causing a chain reaction involving three more vehicles.

The Honda Accord, driven by Adams, was the third vehicle hit, Crouse said.

He said traffic had slowed in the northbound lane of I-77 near East Broad Street, and Crawford wasn’t able to get his big rig stopped in time to avoid a collision.

After hitting one vehicle, Crawford’s rig, which was loaded with frozen food, went into the median and became lodged against the guardrail.

Diesel fuel from the truck’s two nearly full tanks spilled into the median.

Crouse said a passenger in the second vehicle hit, which was driven by a man from New York, was transported to Davis Regional Medical Center while the driver of the vehicle the tractor-trailer originally struck was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital.

The collision turned I-77 into a parking lot, particularly in the northbound lanes. By 10:30 p.m., authorities were able to get one northbound laneopen and by early Thursday morning, reopened all four lanes of I-77.

Crouse said Crawford faces a charge of careless and reckless driving. 

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