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2 killed in Durham freeway wreck not wearing seat belts, troopers say

Posted January 4
Updated January 5

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— The Durham County Sheriff’s Office responded Wednesday night to a deadly crash that killed two people and closed southbound lanes of N.C. Highway 147 near Alexander Drive.

The crash happened just before 7 p.m. when a 2003 Toyota Camry driven by Nathan Christian Cowles, 33, of Durham, merged into a 1996 Honda Civic traveling in the same direction. The Honda, driven by Luis Gerado Bardenas, of Durham, hit the back of Cowles' Toyota, ran off the road and crashed into a tree.

Barcenas and a passenger in the front, right seat were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two men in the back seat—Angel Gonzalo Cruz and Jose Reyes Cruz-Barcenas, both of Durham—died at the scene.

Authorities said Cruz and Cruz-Barcenas were not wearing seat belts. Both men died in the wreck.

Cowles was also taken to the emergency room with non-life-threatening injuries.

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