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Driver Charged in Wreck That Closed Capital Boulevard

Posted November 29, 2007

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— A wreck shut down both sides of Capital Boulevard for nearly seven hours and sent five people to the hospital on Thursday.

Gerardo Alexander Hernandez, 32, of 1505 Huntdell Main Drive, in Wendell, was driving a dump truck southbound on Capital around 1:30 p.m. Witnesses said Hernandez was in the right-turn-only lane at the intersection with New Hope Church/Buffaloe Road and ran a red light.

The dump truck collided with a pickup driven by Enrique Galicia, 33, of Raleigh, who was turning left onto Capital.

Hernandez did not try to brake before the accident, police said. The vehicles traveled more than 80 feet before coming to a halt.

The dump truck slammed into a power pole, snapping it off and causing a chain reaction that pulled down three other power poles. That brought down traffic lights and power lines into the intersection.

The falling poles and debris damaged a Ford sedan and Jeep Cherokee stopped at the intersection.

Hernandez, Galicia, two passengers in the pickup truck and the driver of the Ford were taken to WakeMed with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Police charged Hernandez with running a red light and careless and reckless driving. Hernandez holds a commercial drivers' license from the state of New York.

Seven customers were left without power after the accident, but Progress Energy crews restored power and repaired traffic lights by 8:30 p.m. All north- and southbound lanes of Capital were also reopened by then.

Traffic was rerouted around the accident scene, causing heavy, miles-long back-ups. Some drivers said it took them 45 minutes to inch forward a quarter of a mile.

"I was wondering what's going on, because I'm late for my part-time job at Babys 'R Us," driver Willis Smith said.

No traffic on Capital meant no traffic in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. The shops and restaurants did not lose power, but they did lose business. One restaurant closed early, wiping out the dinner crowd.

41 Comments

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  • real earth Dec 1, 2007

    I have seen large dump trucks racing side-by-side at 50mph on Wade Avenue, making U-turns on main roads, and routinely challenging cars. When I brought my concern to a Raleigh police captain, he politely told me it was all in my head - their are no problems, except with student drivers.

  • Timtooltime Nov 30, 2007

    I have not seen a DMV Officer in 2 years on Capital Blvd. Vote Independent and clear all the good ol boys and Gurls of of the state Offices. NO comprande ?

  • ladyblue Nov 30, 2007

    I hope this isn't another case of allowing driving licenses in NC to people who cannot speak or read our languages.. I hope they also have enough insurance to pay for all the damages and the cost of fixing everything back to normal and not at the taxpayers expense.

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Nov 30, 2007

    Watched the tail end of the noon news.. I think WRAL has finally heard the majority of the viewers expressing their feelings. I honestly embrass immigrants who come here and try to better their lives legally.

    However those of you on here that think the we are too harsh and bashing a race either have your heads in the sand, don't have to struggle to support a family financially, love giving money away, love waiting at hospital ER Rooms, love seeing your taxes increase to support our goverments support of what they claim to be illegal.

    WRAL will be running a story on the subject of Driving While Impaired and the tie to illegal immigrants. I only wish they would do some research on some of the other areas.

  • Lissa13082 Nov 30, 2007

    "The mess on our roads isn't the county, city, or state's fault. It's the majority of the poor drivers on our roads that are to blame. I witness that on a daily basis. Stop blaming the city and learn how to drive."
    Well said!!!!! I agree 100%!

  • misslisa200723 Nov 30, 2007

    I really enjoy when we just prove how they can't drive, and how they could've killed someone, but yet and still nothing happens. When will we open our eyes and do something, it will take 3 murders or a million before we do something. It's Rediculous!

  • Sessy - Italiana Nov 30, 2007

    YOU DONT SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I feel bad for the fella that was hit all because some MORON dont know how to drive!

  • -info- Nov 30, 2007

    "the President of Mexico has a sir name of FOX." actually it is now Felipe de Jesus CALDERON Hinojosa.

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Nov 30, 2007

    Allison that was really an expected answer from you.

    So you are comparing renting a car to driving a dump truck which loaded can haul over 22 Tons of material and have huge financial impacts in the event of an accident or crush most vehicles. And believe me its not quite that easy to rent a car in Europe or within NA from reputable rental agencies.

  • Nov 30, 2007

    I commute on Capital Blvd. Monday through Friday. Listening to my radio at work, I was made aware of the situation early in the afternoon. I left downtown and headed out on 440 (Outer Beltline) to the new 64 Bypass, took 540 to Capital Blvd. north.
    There was no traffic when I looked south on Capital. Didn't reach my usual bottleneck until Burlington Mills Rd.I got home earlier than usual.I saw the traffic jam on the news.
    The mess on our roads isn't the county, city, or state's fault. It's the majority of the poor drivers on our roads that are to blame. I witness that on a daily basis. Stop blaming the city and learn how to drive.

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