UPDATE: Driver, passenger die in I-85N tractor-trailer wreck

- The North Carolina Highway Patrol confirmed two have died following a fiery tractor trailer crash early Wednesday. 

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Christopher Dyer and the passenger, Rodney Watson have both passed away.

The incident happened around 5 a.m. along I-85 northbound near Exit 42. 

The N.C. Department of Transportation said the two right lanes of I-85 NB re-opened Wednesday afternoon, with the shoulder remaining closed. Crews said the shoulder was expected to reopen by 6 p.m. 

Drivers were advised to follow local law enforcement on scene, or seek an alternate route. 

The tractor-trailer was carrying cotton.

It took 32 minutes to free the two people, with about 23 firefighters on scene. Medic transported the two patients to Carolinas Medical Center.

Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

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