Major roads see shutdowns Monday after icy wrecks

Tow trucks remove cars from Interstate 485 after a wreck on Monday, Feb. 15.
Tow trucks remove cars from Interstate 485 after a wreck on Monday, Feb. 15.

Charlotte dodged the worst of the winter weather forecast for Monday, but the precipitation that came down froze on bridges and overpasses, causing several wrecks across the county.

The temperature dipped below freezing during afternoon rush hour, meaning whatever was wet on the roads froze.

Interstate 77 north of Statesville was closed in both directions near exit 73 (N.C. 421) because of several crashes. The road was expected to reopen by 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Firefighters in Gaston County said they responded to 15 wrecks within an hour Monday evening, including an overturned ambulance on Interstate 85, according to WBTV, the Observer’s news partner.

And a tractor-trailer jack-knifed on U.S. 321 in Granite Falls, forcing the highway to close until early Tuesday.

Around 7 p.m. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were still clearing up 25 collisions – a higher than normal number because of the ice.

Both sides of Interstate 485 were shut down in the same icy stretch in northern Mecklenburg because of ice-related crashes.

The outer ring of I-485 near exit 23 was closed down by an eight-car wreck around 5:40 p.m., according to N.C. DOT. One person was treated for minor injuries.

Just after 6 p.m., Huntersville firefighters reported a three-vehicle wreck on the inner belt line in the same area.

Around 6:10 p.m., the department tweeted. “Another 3 car MVA (multivehicle accident) just occurred on (I-485) inner loop – across from the previous accident on the Outer Loop. Please SLOW DOWN in area!”

N.C. DOT crews treated the icy roads again after the wreck. The roads reopened Monday evening.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson