I-85 southbound closed in Jackson County after fatal crash

The southbound lanes of I-85 in Jackson County remained shut down at mid-morning Friday, five hours after a multi-vehicle pileup that left one person dead.

The backup extended for five miles at 9 a.m. as hazmat crews worked to transfer a load of potassium hydroxide from a wrecked truck.

The fatal wreck happened shortly before 4 a.m. at the Dry Pond Road exit near Jefferson, according to Bryan Gunter, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

Gunter said two tractor-trailers and three smaller vehicles, including a recreational vechicle, were involved in the crash. One of of the trucks overturned, he said.

The identity of the motorist killed was not immediately available.

Authorities were rerouting southbound traffic off the interstate at the Dry Pond Road exit, then back down the entrance ramp to I-85.

Gunter said cleanup crews hoped to have the interstate reopened by noon.