CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - North Carolina Highway Patrol tells FOX 46 Charlotte the driver of a dump truck that slammed into a bridge being built on I-77 has been charged.
The incident happened on Wednesday around noon.
Troopers investigating the crash said Richard McFarlind of Conway, South Carolina has been charged with careless and reckless driving.
McFarlind was a contracted worker for the I-77 Project and was driving a Blue Max Trucking vehicle. He had just finished dropping off a load of dirt and/or gravel inside the construction zone when he was heading to drop of another load.
The driver failed to lower the dump bed. He struck a bridge being built over I-77 near Exit 13-A to I-85.
The truck was totaled and McFarlind was treated for minor injuries.
The bridge that was struck had significant damage and had to be taken a part to keep drivers and workers safe. As a result, the highway did not fully reopen until Thursday around 5:30 a.m.
The accident caused hours of interstate backups.
Fox 46 Charlotte reached out to I-77 Mobility Partners and Sugar Creek Construction, the companies in charge of the interstate project.
A representative told us it’s unclear at this time how much this accident will impact the project’s timeline. They are in the process of analyzing the consequences. Representatives also stated the incident was a result of worker error. It had nothing to do with the bridge’s clearance, which before it was taken down, was above minimum standards.
Our Amber Roberts will have live report starting at 6 p.m. on FOX 46 Charlotte.