CHARLOTTE, N.C. - FOX 46 has learned the state is asking for money from a driver who hit a massive pothole on I-85 on December 2, after they denied a damage claim he filed.
On December 2 Jamel Hayes said he hit the pothole around 5:00 p.m. just before Brookshire Boulevard. He paid $320 in repairs after both of his tires were damaged. He filed a damage claim through NCDOT, but that claim was denied by the Attorney General’s office.
A spokesperson for the AG office tells FOX 46 the claim was denied because it occurred in a work zone. They say the contractor should pay for the damage, not NCDOT. At the time the pothole formed a pavement rehabilitation project was ongoing, but FOX 46 was told by NCDOT that was not the cause of the pothole.
In total, NCDOT says 16 drivers have filed claims for damage from the same pothole. FOX 46 obtained a report from NCDOT which said the pothole in question opened three separate times last year. In the report they acknowledged the patches weren’t working and a permanent fix was being looked at.
Meanwhile Jamel Hayes tried to file a second damage claim through a second state agency, the North Carolina Industrial Commission. After contacting the commission he was told he would have to pay a $200 fee.
FOX 46 reached out to the North Carolina Industrial Commission about why this fee is I place, but we have not heard back.
“This is outrageous,” Hayes told FOX 46.
FOX 46 also reached out to NCDOT about contacting the contractor in charge of the pavement rehabilitations project, but were told drivers should file claims with the industrial commission.
The claim denial letter Jamel Hayes received also said to contact the industrial commission.