Vehicle fire snarls northbound I-85

Motorists using northbound Interstate 85 in north Charlotte faced a second traffic mess Wednesday afternoon when a vehicle caught fire, closing the three right lanes.

The vehicle caught fire about 5:45 p.m. By 6:30 p.m., only one lane was closed, the N.C. Department of Transportation announced.

The wreck was near mile marker 46, near the site of an earlier wreck.

Lanes had reopened earlier in the afternoon after a two-vehicle wreck involving a tractor-trailer.

The wreck was reported about 12:45 p.m. near mile marker 45, just north of the W.T. Harris Boulevard interchange. Medic reported three people were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

All five lanes were closed for about 45 minutes, causing a traffic backup of about 5 miles. Traffic was detoured off I-85 for a few hours, until authorities were able to open three of the five lanes by 3 p.m.

It is not clear what caused the wreck.