DOBSON — A tractor-trailer hauling more than 40,000 pounds of packaged boneless beef overturned on southbound Interstate 77 at the 90 milemarker between Dobson and Elkin Thursday. Traffic was backed up to the Dobson exit as of 4:45 p.m.
The wreck initially was dispatched at 1:45 p.m. for fire, rescue, EMS and HazMat crews.
John Shelton, Surry County emergency services director, said clean up of the wreck would take some time as heavy rains were dousing the area.
“They are trying their best,” said Shelton of wrecker crews. “We have 40,940 pounds of packaged boneless beef strowed all down in the woods. The truck is overturned across the guardrail and the cargo unit is breached and open.”
One lane of travel was open at 4:45 p.m., but both lanes of southbound travel were shut down later in the afternoon when the wreckers were ready to pull the truck upright, Shelton said.
He said the driver, who is from Pennsylvania, apparently fell asleep at the wheel, went off the left side of the roadway into the median, then cut back across the southbound lanes and jumped the guardrail on the right side of the road and overturned.
The driver, whose name was not available, had only minor injuries and refused treatment by EMS, Shelton said.
Trooper James Atkins is the investigating for the North Carolina Highway Patrol.