Local News

1 Dead in Multi-Vehicle Accident in Durham

Posted November 26, 2007

One person died and two were injured in an accident involving four vehicles in Durham, police said.

Rafael Montoya Medrano, 38, of Raleigh, was driving a Ford Escort in the westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 70 between Miami Boulevard and East End Avenue around 7:40 a.m.

Medrano attempted to stop for slowed traffic but could not, police said. The Escort clipped the rear bumper of a Toyota Highlander, driven by Maria Bonilla, 35, of Durham, and then swerved across the center lane into eastbound lanes.

The Escort collided head-on with a Nissan Xterra driven by Ralph Johnson, 47, of Creedmoor. An eastbound Chevrolet Cavalier then rear-ended the Xterra, driven by Wanda Thomas, 44, of Durham, police said.

Medrano was pronounced dead at the scene.

Johnson was taken to Duke University Hospital for treatment of back injuries, and Thomas was treated at Durham Regional Hospital and released.

No charges have been filed, but the accident remains under investigation, police said.

The wreck delayed traffic in the area for several hours, as crews worked to remove the wreckage from the roadway.

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