Update: Driver tossed from Interstate 85 in Opelika dies - WRBL

Update: Driver tossed from Interstate 85 in Opelika dies

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OPELIKA, Ala. - The driver of a vehicle thrown from an interstate overpass in Opelika Friday morning has died, Opelika police confirm. Benjamin Rice, 32, of Lanett, was not wearing his seatbelt as he drove to his job at Auburn University, information from Opelika police and the county coroner suggests.

Around 7:50a ct, Rice was driving southbound on Interstate 85 when his 2004 Ford F-150 flipped near the highway's overpass with South Long Street. The vehicle came to rest on the bridge's guardrail.

"The driver was apparently thrown from the vehicle during the roll-over, went over the guardrail, and was located on South Long Street under the bridge," Captain K.C. Foxe says in a news release.

Rice was taken to East Alabama Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries around 8:30a ct.

"Rice’s injuries were too severe to be airlifted and he was rushed to East Alabama Medical Center via ambulance where he died from his injuries shortly after arrival at the emergency room," Lee County Coroner Bill Harris says in a news release.

Harris says Rice suffered multiple blunt force impact injuries. Alcohol is not suspected to be a factor, according to Harris.

Rice worked at the Veterinary School at Auburn University, according to Harris.

Opelika police are investigating the crash and ask anyone with information related to the crash to call investigators at 334-705-5200. Anonymous tips can be called in to the Secret Witness Hotline at 334-745-8665.

No autospy is planned at this time.

Traffic was delayed through the morning and in to the afternoon following the crash. You can see real-time traffic updates anytime at wrbl.com/traffic.

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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