The driver of an SUV was killed in a fiery chain-reaction crash that shut down Interstate 26 east in North Charleston for hours on Monday, authorities said.
Five vehicles, including two tractor-trailers, were involved in the wreck that happened at 1:50 p.m. near mile marker 210.
All four lanes of the interstate were shut down until crews reopened one lane about three hours later. The wreck backed up traffic for several miles while crews diverted motorists to secondary roads. All lanes were back open as of 8:30 p.m.
The wreck happened as an Audi SUV, a GMC pickup and a tractor-trailer were slowing for traffic congestion, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Matt Southern. A second tractor-trailer struck the back of the pickup and caused a chain-reaction collision, Southern said.
The SUV and the tractor-trailer that hit the pickup caught fire. The driver of the SUV died at the scene. The driver of the semi was able to exit and was not injured.
The driver and a passenger in the pickup truck were injured and transported to an area hospital.
A BMW that was legally parked in the emergency lane as the driver waited for roadside assistance was hit by debris from the initial collision.
Troopers, EMS and firefighters responded to the scene. The collision remains under investigation.