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NC's death toll from snowstorm climbs to five

Two Good Samaritans helping push cars on I-40 in Raleigh were killed when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver, two people died of heart attacks shoveling snow and a fifth died after sliding on black ice into a telephone pole, the governor's office said.

"Unfortunately, the final hours of this storm turned out to be the most deadly," Gov. Pat McCrory said in a news release. "Despite our preparations and tremendous efforts, five more people have died in winter-weather related incidents."

The death toll from the snow storm rose to five with the death of the motorist who slammed into a telephone pole in Charlotte.

Here is the news release:

Two people died last night after a collision with a hit-and-run driver on Interstate 40 in Wake County. The two good samaritans were outside their vehicles helping other motorists when they were struck alongside the highway. The Highway Patrol has charged one driver in that incident.

Additionally, two people in Burke County died Thursday after suffering heart attacks while shoveling snow.

The fifth person to die hit a phone pole after driving on black ice in Charlotte this morning.

Traffic is moving freely on interstates 77 and 74 in Surry County after accidents and jack-knifed trucks caused backups that were quickly inundated by more than a foot of snow. That resulted in standstill conditions yesterday afternoon and evening for many drivers. DOT crews and state troopers worked through the night to clear the interstate while National Guard soldiers helped the drivers stuck in the backup.

"The state was well-prepared, our responders performed admirably and citizens largely heeded our warnings to stay off the roads," said Governor McCrory. "We owe our thanks to all who have worked so hard this week to keep our state safe and to help their neighbors."