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Traffic resumes on I-77 after the Charlotte helicopter crash


NC Department of Transportation Twitter

A lane of southbound Interstate 77 in Charlotte near the site of Tuesday’s fatal helicopter crash remained closed on Wednesday, officials said.

The right lane and ramp from Tyvola Road to I-77 South will remain closed until at least noon Wednesday, according to the NC Department of Transportation.

“The right lane of I-77 South is closed near Exit 4 (Nations Ford Road) in Charlotte due to an accident,” the statement read on the Department of Transportation’s website. “The lane is expected to reopen at 12:00 p.m. Motorists are advised to exercise caution when driving through the area.”

An earlier announcement from the DOT said officials were hoping to have the lane and ramp open by 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Two of the three southbound lanes between exit 5 of Tyvola Road and exit 4 of Nations Ford Road reopened around 5pm Tuesday.

The fatal accident, which occurred around 12:20 p.m., blocked southbound lanes for hours, according to police and other emergency officials.

DOT cameras and news feeds from the crime scene showed traffic cones, traffic arrows, and other barriers near the crime scene that remained cordoned off. The accident happened next to the freeway, officials at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

Vehicles on the road were not affected, police said.

Hours of southbound closure

From the time of the accident through the afternoon, drivers were routed around uptown Charlotte via Interstates 85 and 485.

Two people, meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag, died when Charlotte TV station WBTV’s Sky 3 helicopter crashed.

The accident caused traffic detours and congestion in Charlotte, and traffic delays in both states extend to South Carolina, according to traffic camera departments.

The crash happened in South Charlotte, about five miles north of the South Carolina state line.

I-77 is the main road between Uptown Charlotte and the South Carolina state line.

Drivers on I-77 southbound toward Charlotte were advised Tuesday afternoon to exit southbound I-77 north of Uptown at I-85 and then merge onto I-485 to avoid the accident site.

Motorists in this area may drive south on NC 49, South Tryon Street or South Boulevard.

Northbound traffic near the crash Tuesday afternoon was moving slowly, according to cameras from NC DOT and the SC Department of Transportation.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

This story was originally published Nov 22, 2022 1:31 p.m.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his reporting on crime, race, justice and people. He is the author of the book Slice of Dys and his work is in the US Library of Congress.