9/17/2021 10:27:00 AM Victim of Monday Morning Wreck Identified
NC Highway Patrol
The victim in a Monday morning crash on I-85 has been identified, but the cause of the wreck is unknown. The NC Highway Patrol told got the call at 6:30 Monday morning (Sept. 13th) that a vehicle had veered off northbound Interstate 85 near the Lowell/McAdenville exit and crashed into the woods. After leaving the highway, the vehicle traveled about 450 feet before striking a tree, then it burst into flames.
The wreck killed 64-year-old Roger Dee Elliston of Arden, NC. He was the only occupant of the vehicle and no other car was involved. A witness, also traveling northbound on I-85 some distance behind Elliston, said he left the roadway suddenly and without applying brakes. There was no evidence of any attempt to stop before striking the tree. The Highway Patrol says Elliston may have suffered a medical problem. "He may have been dead before his car hit the tree, but since it was likely still traveling at more than 50 mph, he would have died instantly on impact if he wasn't already dead."
The vehicle was burned so badly that the license plate and VIN number under the front windshield could not be read. The fire also left nothing but skeletal remains, so at first, it was difficult to know if the victim was a man or a woman. A VIN number was found on the undercarriage and that was used to track down the information on the vehicle and to determine the victim's identity.
Elliston, a semi-retired dentist who still practiced in Charlotte part-time was on his way to work at a dental practice in Charlotte when he crashed his 2016 Ford Explorer near exit 23.
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