Tractor trailer driver dies in I-77 wreck
by Anthony Gonzalez
The driver of a Super Service tractor trailer died in a Thursday morning wreck on I-77.
Police said James Griffith, 40, of New Bern, N.C. was headed southbound on I-77 near the 79 mile marker when he lost control of the vehicle, hit a guard rail and ran off the road.
“He smashed into the concrete barrier holding up the bridge,” said eyewitness Kevin Manning of Georgia. Manning had been traveling behind the truck.
According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the accident was called in at 9:44 a.m.
First responders were observed by The Tribune trying to rescue Griffith, who was trapped in the driver compartment of the truck.
“It would totally shock me if anyone could survive a wreck like that,” said Manning.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m. police pulled out the yellow caution tape that was keeping motorists from getting closer to the accident and fuel spill.
Griffith died on the scene, according to police.
Traffic was stopped in the southbound lane of I-77 for approximately three hours.
“It’s a sad reality, but as a truck driver I see lots of accidents like this,” said John Swartz, who bowed his head after he learned of the death.
“We’re heading on vacation for a month,” said Donald Virostek, who was driving to Florida from Pittsburgh, Penn. “I think I’d seen enough for today and might pull over in one of these hotels and call it a day. Vacation can wait. Someone just lost their life.”
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