ROCKINGHAM — A Florida man is facing charges after troopers say he caused a tractor-trailer to flip over, closing down part of the overpass for hours.
According to Trooper Clint Greene of the N.C. Highway Patrol, 34-year-old Trevis Johnson of Lauderhill, Florida, ran the stop sign on the off-ramp of the U.S. 74 Bypass, colliding with a southbound 18-wheeler hauling gypsum around 10:46 a.m.
The truck — through a combination of the speed of impact and the driver trying to avoid the wreck —flipped over onto its side on the overpass bridge, spilling its load into the right lane.
The Highway Patrol had received several calls reporting Johnson recklessly driving his blue 2016 Nissan Versa at high speeds down the highway prior to the crash, Greene said.
Johnson was critically injured and flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, according to the trooper. He is charged with driving while impaired, possession of an open container of alcohol, careless and reckless driving and failure to stop at at stop sign.
Greene said he was not yet sure what Johnson’s blood alcohol content level was at the time of the crash.
The truck driver, 35-year-old Jarrett Johnson, was hauling the load of gypsum for The SEFA Group, based in Lexington, South Carolina, according to its website. He received minor injuries, but was not sent to a hospital, Greene said.
Southbound traffic on U.S. 1 was diverted onto U.S. 74, where drivers had to turn around at the next exit. The southbound lanes opened back up around 4 p.m. The northbound lanes were opened around noon.
The East Rockingham and Cordova fire departments, as well as the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. Department of Transportation and FirstHealth EMS also responded to the wreck.
A truck from Winyah Wrecker Georgetown, South Carolina had to come pick up the tractor-trailer. The DOT and Watson’s Wreckers Service also helped with the cleanup.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.