Falling furniture causes 5-car pileup on interstate

Emergency units respond to a five-vehicle collision at the 74 eastbound mile marker on I-40

DUSTIN CHANDLER/MCDOWELL NEWS

A piece of furniture that fell on the interstate resulted in a five-car pileup and a person being sent to the hospital Thursday afternoon, according to reports.

At approximately 2 p.m. Thursday, emergency units and law enforcement responded to I-40 eastbound at the 74 mile marker after receiving reports of a five-car motor vehicle collision.

According to Trooper D.R. Alexander of the NC Highway Patrol, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck - driven by Carl Tony Prince of Salisbury – was carrying furniture when a piece fell off and into the roadway. As the vehicles behind the truck began to slow down to avoid collision, a tractor trailer – driven by Walter Erwin Wiestling of Denver – failed to reduce speed and collided with a white Mercedes SUV – driven by Billy Carol Matthews of Sullivans Island, S.C. – which in turn collided with two additional vehicles in one giant pileup.

Only one vehicle was able to be driven off the scene with minor damage, with all others being towed with extensive damage.

One passenger out of the five vehicles was transported to Mission Hospital McDowell with serious injuries.

Prince was charged with failure to secure load and Wiestling was charged with failure to reduce speed, according to Alexander.

Old Fort Fire Department, McDowell EMS, McDowell Rescue Squad and NCHP responded to the incident.

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