Highway delay was so long, porta-potties were taken to stranded drivers, NC reports say

Traffic was backed up for hours on a highway outside of Charlotte.
Traffic was backed up for hours on a highway outside of Charlotte. Twitter screen grab

A traffic jam on a highway just outside of Charlotte was so bad that portable toilets had to be set up for people who were stuck in traffic for hours Sunday, while others abandoned their cars, according to multiple reports.

Drivers were stuck on I-85 after the northbound lanes were closed for more than nine hours, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, or NCDOT.

The delay was caused by a tractor trailer from grocery store chain Harris Teeter, which was involved in a crash and overturned, WJZY reported. The truck full of groceries crashed after “swerving to avoid a disabled vehicle,” according to WSOC.

The wreck occurred on a section of the interstate that runs through China Grove, in Rowan County, near mile marker 68, per the NCDOT. All northbound lanes of I-85 were blocked by the wreck, according to WCNC.

NCDOT said the crash happened at 2:19 a.m., and the road was not reopened until 11:35 a.m.

When drivers were stuck on the interstate a portable toilet was brought in for them to use during the long delay, WSOC reported.

Other drivers did not wait for the road to be reopened and abandoned their vehicles on the highway, according to a tweet from a reporter for WBTV.

Traffic was diverted to help the flow of vehicles move via a detour, per the NCDOT. But it was taking drivers about an hour to travel less than a mile, WJZY reported.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the crash, according to WCNC.

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.