LUMBERTON, N.C. (WNCN) – The N.C. Highway Patrol confirmed five people, including an infant and another child, died following a six-vehicle collision on Interstate 95 in Robeson County Tuesday afternoon.
The entire interstate was closed between mile markers 7 and 10 between Lumberton and the South Carolina border after the crash, which happened around 12:30 p.m.
Trooper William Henning confirmed Tuesday that three adults and two children were killed in the crash.
N.C. DOT said the northbound lanes reopened at 11:57pm, and the southbound lanes reopened less than an hour later.
Officials said the crash happened when DOT workers were repainting the highway lane lines and traffic was forced to merge to one lane.
However, the driver of a tanker truck failed to stop, causing the crash, authorities said.
The driver of the tanker truck is one of those injured and charges are possible.
Officials said the collision involved three tractor-trailers and three other vehicles. They told WAVY sister station WNCN CBS North Carolina that five people died and four others were injured, all of which were in stable condition Tuesday night.
Two passenger vehicles were burned with one of them flipped upside down.
Before either side of I-95 could reopen troopers say crews had to unload all the fuel from the tanker truck. N.C. DOT crews then inspected the road to make sure it’s safe.
WBTW-TV reported viewer Vicki Harding Sorensen posted a photo from I-95 with visible smoke coming from the area. According to Sorensen, many motorists have been stuck in the area since 12:45 p.m. and people are walking around on the interstate.
The victims haven’t been identified because next of kin have not been notified.
There was a hazmat situation immediately following the collision but that fire was extinguished, the Highway Patrol confirmed.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report