I-485 closed for hours in Charlotte after fatal, multi-vehicle wreck on Friday

Interstate 485 remained backed up in Charlotte late Friday afternoon, nine hours after a fatal multi-vehicle wreck.

The highway was closed at the Mallard Creek Road exit in both directions after the 7:30 a.m. crash, and police advised drivers to avoid the interstate.

Tractor-trailer driver Darrell Lee Buelin died at the scene, WSOC reported, citing the State Highway Patrol.

Another tractor-trailer driver was airlifted to an area hospital in critical condition, according to the station. Four others were evaluated at the crash scene and declined to be taken to a hospital, Medic reported.

Buelin’s truck collided with a car on the I-485 inner loop, WSOC reported, hurling the truck through median cables and head-on into a tractor-trailer on the outer loop, according to the station.

Both sides of the interstate were still backed up just before 5 p.m., drivers told The Charlotte Observer. One lane of the inner loop was closed for regular daily maintenance Friday afternoon, according to Drive NC.com, the state’s real-time highway closure map.