Rolesville family of four killed in I-85 crash near NC-Virginia line

September 20, 2018

Four members of a Rolesville family died Wednesday night in crash on Interstate 85 near the Virginia state line, authorities said.

The crash, which occurred shortly after 4 p.m. near mile marker 226 on southbound I-85, involved two tractor-trailers, an SUV and a work van.

A preliminary investigation revealed one tractor-trailer, the van and the SUV were stopped for slowed traffic on I-85, and the second tractor-trailer rear-ended the SUV, pushing it into the van, authorities said. The van then struck a guard rail and traveled back into the roadway, striking the first tractor-trailer.

Linda Jowers, 47, Timothy Jowers, 47, Brianna Jowers, 10, and Alexander Jowers, 8, all of Rolesville, were in the SUV. All died at the scene.

According to the Warren County District Attorney, the Jowers family had traveled to Washington, D.C., for a trip via Amtrak train. Due to Hurricane Florence, they were not able to get back to North Carolina via train, so the family rented a car.

The driver of the tractor-trailer that caused the crash, James Pratt, 55, of Goodview, Virginia, was taken to Maria Parham Hospital with minor injuries, and his co-driver, Raymond Kelley, 60, of Hardy, Virginia, was taken to Duke University Hospital with minor injuries, authorities said.

Pratt was charged Thursday with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and careless and reckless driving.

Southbound I-85 remained closed until early Thursday as State Highway Patrol troopers investigated the crash and cleared the wreckage from the highway.

Update hourly