A driver in his 80s was killed, along with his dog, after hitting a garbage truck on the exit ramp from I-485 to Wilkinson Boulevard around lunchtime Tuesday.
Trooper Raymond Pierce said investigators are still working to notify the man’s family. He was born in 1931 and lived in Florida, said Pierce.
It’s unclear at this point in the investigation if a medical condition or other factors led to the crash. Pierce said the driver was reported by a witness at a high rate of speed approaching the ramp and seemed to be out of control.
Pierce said the driver hit a guardrail, bounced back to the ramp and rear-ended a waste truck. The waste truck driver had blown a tire on the interstate and parked on the shoulder of the exit ramp to wait for assistance.
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The waste truck company, United Site Services, released a statement about the incident.
"United Site Services is deeply saddened by the unfortunate accident in Charlotte, NC today," the statement read. "Our deepest, heartfelt sympathies go out to those affected. We care about the communities we work in and are cooperating with the authorities as they determine the exact details. As the incident is still under investigation, we request your understanding at this time."
Investigators say both the man and dog were killed on impact.
Pierce estimated the driver of the small, white SUV hit the back of the truck at nearly 55 miles per hour.
The ramp was closed for more than three hours as state troopers gathered evidence. It re-opened right before 4:00 pm.