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Trucker dies in I-77 wreck in Cornelius

A truck driver was killed early Saturday when his tractor-trailer went off Interstate 77 and crashed into trees during a driving rainstorm in northern Mecklenburg County, authorities said. The N.C. Highway Patrol said the wreck was reported about 3:30 a.m. on southbound I-77, south of Westmoreland Road near Exit 28 in Cornelius.

Investigators said the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle in the left lane. The truck went off the road into the median and plowed into an area of trees. Troopers had not released the name of the victim Sunday.

The wreck left a diesel spill, and authorities were forced to close the left lane of southbound I-77 for about eight hours Saturday morning. At times, traffic was backed up for 6 to 7 miles.The lanes were finally reopened around 1:30 p.m. Steve Lyttle

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