The Latest: NCDOT: Interstate 95 reopens in Johnston County

Selma Fire Department
Selma Fire Department

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a series of crashes on Interstate 95 in North Carolina: (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Repairs have been completed, and Interstate 95 South near Smithfield has reopened to traffic.

A statement from the N.C. Department of Transportation says the roadway was damaged by a firetruck on Wednesday. The southbound lanes were opened around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, while the northbound lanes were reopened earlier in the day.

NCDOT said the contractor handling the repairs milled away 910 square yards of burnt roadway and used 160 tons of asphalt to rebuild the roadway. Crews then had to wait for the asphalt to cool down so new traffic lane markings could be placed on the road.

A 16-mile stretch of I-95 was closed by a series of wrecks that authorities say killed three people.

3 p.m.

The N.C. Highway Patrol now says three people were killed in series of crashes on Interstate 95 near Smithfield, including two people in one accident.

Lt. Jeff Gordon said Thursday that a tractor trailer traveling north on I-95 near mile marker 88 hit the rear of a recreational vehicle which was stopped. Two people inside the RV were killed.

The patrol identified the victims as 36-year-old Christopher Michael Porter of Pell City, Alabama, and 30-year-old Mitchell Alan Vandenburg of Loveland, Colorado. A third occupant in the RV, 35-year-old Adam Charles Nurre of Austin, Texas, is currently hospitalized in Raleigh.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, 44-year-old Alex Omar Lopez of Miami, Florida, is charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Lopez is jailed on a $5,000 bond, and it’s not known if he has an attorney.

A previous crash on I-95 killed the driver of another RV.

7:21 a.m.

A 16-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in North Carolina has been closed by a series of wrecks that killed at least two people.

The transportation department said Thursday the southbound lanes are closed between I-40 and U.S. 70.

A tractor trailer ran off southbound lanes and hit a tree. People in the northbound lanes looking at the wreck slowed and a recreational vehicle hit a tractor-trailer carrying corrosive material.

Johnston County ordered an evacuation within a mile of exit 95 because of a hazardous material leak. Those orders were lifted Thursday. Shelters were opened at Cleveland High School in Clayton and Princeton High School.

The third wreck involved five vehicles, including a tractor-trailer that hit an RV. Highway Patrol Lt. Jeff Gordon said two people in the RV died.