Driver charged in 18-wheeler wreck, traffic jam on I-526

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The driver of an 18-wheeler that crashed on Interstate 526 Wednesday, causing a major traffic jam for five hours, has been charged with careless driving.

Traffic is back to normal Thursday morning after drivers faced heavy delays on I-526 and nearby roads Wednesday.

According to Charleston police, an 18-wheeler driven by Matthew Middleton, of Michigan, ran off the left side of the road near exit 11-A and struck the foundation that holds up a SCDOT digital sign. The wreck caused severe damage to the truck, totaling the vehicle.

As a result of the damage to the sign, which hangs over both lanes of I-526 east, workers had to remove the sign from the road because it was unstable. The damage to the billboard is estimated at $150,000.

The driver told police that he hit a bump and was knocked unconscious. He said he doesn't remember running off the road. Witnesses told investigators that when the truck ran off the road, it didn't look like the brakes were applied at any time.

Middleton is charged with careless driving. The accident occurred just before 2 p.m. and the road were reopened around 7:48 p.m., but not before thousands of motorists spent extra time in the car.

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