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Driver Charged After Heading Wrong Way on I-40

Posted December 3, 2007

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— A Massachusetts man was charged Monday after driving in the wrong direction on Interstate 40 for five miles, authorities said.

Gary Wayne Carter, 59, flew into Raleigh-Durham International Airport and rented a car before getting onto I-40 at Aviation Parkway at about 3:15 p.m. He was trying to go west but wound up driving east in the westbound lanes and on the westbound shoulder, authorities said.

Witnesses said several drivers swerved to avoid a collision. No one was injured in the incident.

"I also quickly swerved to the right, nearly hitting the car coming in the wrong direction," Jim Markov wrote in an e-mail to WRAL. "I feel very lucky right now."

Carter pulled into the I-40 median near the Wade Avenue exit and turned around to head with the flow of traffic, a witness said.

The state Highway Patrol charged him with careless and reckless driving.

26 Comments

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  • raysson Dec 5, 2007

    Thank goodness no one was seriously hurt. And it was around rush hour on I-40 when it happened too.

  • Durham Driver Dec 3, 2007

    I was one of the drivers on I-40 West who was almost hit by a car going the wrong way in the LEFT breakdown lane. I had to swerve to avoid a head-on collision with this car. I would like to add that this driver was speeding and driving aggressively, and I was certain that he was part of a high-speed chase (I was waiting for a state highway patrol car to appear, but I never saw the police). I immediately called the SHP, and someone there said that the car had already been reported. In my opinion, this was not a case of a driver merely driving in the wrong direction on the interstate. He was driving at least 70 mph in the left breakdown lane when he passed me. After reading that he drove in the wrong direction for at least 5 miles, he deserves a felony charge for assault with a deadly weapon. He could have killed someone, and speed was definitely a factor. He WAS NOT driving like someone who was confused; he was driving at a high rate of speed, and I feel lucky to be alive.

  • ordersonline Dec 3, 2007

    I took those pictures!!! They made it on TV too!

  • MizzZeta Dec 3, 2007

    Claudnc, now, you know one-way streets look a lot different than I-40...it's easy to drive the wrong way down a one-way street because there's no center lane and if you're not near a sign you can't tell right away. I bet you've never driven for 5 miles in the wrong direction!

  • claudnc Dec 3, 2007

    Its really easy to drive down the street on the wrong way. Honestly, if you are a person that does not follow directions well - its really easy to do. TRUST ME! I have never did this on a highway but on those one way streets in downtown Raleigh - what!

  • doubletrouble Dec 3, 2007

    To be honest..the roads around the airport are constantly being worked on/cones everywhere...directing you this way and that way. Raleigh in general, is the city of orange cones and road confusion. No wonder the other counties can't get any cash for it's road projects. I for one, can see how a person might get confused, first time to the area, a little age on the grey matter. When I went to Kansas, they labeled their roads differently and it can be rather overwhelming, when U have to be somewhere on a time schedule...but driving 5 miles in the wrong direction of traffic, is just unacceptable.

  • OpinionOnEverything Dec 3, 2007

    Probably on a cell phone.

  • clickclackity2 Dec 3, 2007

    arthurb3, you took the words right out of my mouth! I absolutely dont understand..

  • cntyp4sht Dec 3, 2007

    I guess that's the way they do it up North :-)

  • parr4246 Dec 3, 2007

    joefly1964............"My question, the article doesn't say how the Highway Patrol was able to find and ticket him. It says he drove for about 5 miles, and eventually made a U-turn. At what point was the Highway Patrol involved? Did they actually see him and pull him over? Or did they get his Tag # from the cameras along I-40 and mail the ticket? Just seems like those details were left out."

    Eyewitness News 11 van spotted him and when he went to cross over the median the News Channel 11 van blocked him until the HP arrived....!!! (That's the way Channel 11 showed it on the news..................)

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