The driver of a tractor-trailer filled with hot, liquid asphalt was charged with reckless driving Friday after his rig tipped over on a ramp from Interstate 40 to U.S. 1 in south Raleigh and closed it for three hours.
Dean Peter Nelson, 47, of 500 Nottinghill Walk in Apex, was behind the wheel when the Peterbilt tractor hauling a 40-foot trailer went into the right curve of the exit ramp at what police estimated was 60 mph. The ramp goes from westbound I-40 to southbound U.S. 1. through a 270-degree turn.
The speed limit on the ramp is 30 mph, according to a police report that said the 80,000-pound rig was doing about 45 mph when the trailer tipped to the left and pulled the tractor over with it.
Nelson was pinned in the cab for a time before he was taken to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh and was reported in fair condition Friday afternoon.
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After it tipped, the trailer began leaking its load of asphalt cement, bringing firefighters from the city’s Hazardous Materials Unit to try to keep it from getting into water in the cloverleaf interchange.
The crash happened between 5:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m.