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Fatal crash investigation backs up morning traffic for miles on I-95 North near Ga., S.C. line

A fatal crash had all northbound lanes of Interstate 95 closed for hours overnight at mile...
A fatal crash had all northbound lanes of Interstate 95 closed for hours overnight at mile marker 2.5 in Jasper County.(WTOC)
Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 6:24 AM EDT
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JASPER CO., S.C. (WTOC) - A fatal crash had all northbound lanes of Interstate 95 closed for hours overnight at mile marker 2.5 in Jasper County.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol tells WTOC a Honda Accord traveling north hit an 18-wheeler that was also traveling north just after 10 p.m. Monday night. The truck overturned and the driver of the Honda died. Jasper County Coroner Willie Aiken identified the driver as 25-year-old Freddie Holmes, Jr. of Pooler, Ga. An autopsy has not been completed. Holmes was the only person in the Honda, and the condition of the truck driver is unknown.

Traffic was backed up for miles on the interstate overnight and into the Tuesday morning commute. The roadway began to reopen around 6:00 a.m. and was fully reopened around 11:00 a.m. but delays are expected to linger.

Among the long line of vehicles stuck on I-95 last night was Willie Leonard, who was traveling home to Maryland.

“I was in Florida for Spring Break and watching Wrestle Mania and on my way back and just got unlucky today,” he said.

Leonard hit traffic around 9:30 p.m. Monday, and after waiting for hours while moving nowhere, he and his family eventually settled in.

“Playing on the phone, watching Netflix, and I got a wife and daughter back in the car, luckily, they were able to fall asleep. But I’ve been wide awake, sitting, hoping,” Leonard said.

He was hoping to move and leave this part of the trip well behind him.

“Never been this bad before, so hopefully never again. One time in a life is enough for me,” Leonard said.

Even as the road was reopened the impact of the shutdown was still being felt by drivers Tuesday morning.

“We left Orlando at 7:20 this morning and about a half hour into it, it was bump and go, stop and go, stop and go,” said Tom Deitz, who was headed home to New Jersey.

Deitz and his family found themselves in the remnants of last night’s backup at the Georgia-South Carolina border nearly 12 hours later.

“In Georgia, it was bumper to bumper. Maybe two hours and twenty minutes you go forty miles,” he said.

But right around noon things started to truly open up on the road, offering a little hope for smooth sailing ahead.

“Knock on wood right here everything’s wide open and we’re traveling pretty good right now and it’s a beautiful day out,” Deitz said.

South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating with assistance from the Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT).

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