WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --A mechanical malfunction in the motor of a tractor-trailer is to blame for a traffic mess on Wednesday.
The malfunction caused the semi to burst into flames on Highway 52 north of Winston-Salem. It happened near the Westinghouse Road interchange. The fire shut down traffic in both directions for hours while crews extinguished the flames.
Southbound traffic reopened around 5:30pm Wednesday. As of Wednesday night, traffic was still only open to one northbound lane.
The truck was carrying glass cleaner, hand sanitizer and oven cleaner. Hazmat crews responded to clean up the chemicals before they spread from the scene.
"We're used to seeing stuff like that, but we don't see it on a daily basis, but yeah it was pretty amazing to see something like that," said Rural Hall Fire Chief Eddie Horn.
It's a miracle the driver was not hurt. "He noticed some smoke in the cab so he pulled to the emergency lane and got out of the vehicle and he was just standing on the side of the road when I got there," said Horn.
***Update: NCDOT said all lanes are reopened as of 4:30 am.