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Durham man seriously injured in I-40 crash

Posted May 14, 2010

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— A Durham man suffered serious injuries Friday morning after he merged onto Interstate 40 East from Exit 276, Fayetteville Road, and collided with a tractor-trailer that was traveling in the right lane.

Norman Burwick, 51, then lost control of his GMC Jimmy, which flipped over several times, went down an embankment and came to rest next to N.C. Highway 54, according to Durham police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.

Emergency crews took Burwick to Duke University Hospital where he was listed in serious condition. The tractor-trailer driver, Stephen Wiley, 62, of Stanley, was not injured.

No charges have been filed, but the crash was being investigated, police said. The crash closed several lanes of I-40 in that area for more than two hours.

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  • my_opinion_only May 14, 2010

    Here's what the DMV says about it.

    "When entering the interstate, use the acceleration lane until your vehicle’s speed matches that of the other traffic and then merge safely" --- the KEY word here is safely -- It's up to the person merging to make sure they can merge into the flow of traffic; if you can't merge safely, then you shouldn't merge. As the NC Highway Patrolman told my better-half as he was handing him the ticket, "Cars on the interstate are not REQUIRED to move over so you can get in, but if there's room it's the courteous thing to do. It's up to you to merge safely and if you can't merge safely, you should slow down until you can." That ticket is finally off our insurance, thank goodness.

    Another thing to remember is the Yield Sign. Many entrance ramps have one. The DMV has this to say about the yield sign:
    "The yield sign is triangular shaped with the point at the bottom. This sign is red and white with the word “YIELD” in large letters at the top. When you

  • working for deadbeats May 14, 2010

    Some of you took the Northern driver troll bait. That always gets a good reaction. LOL

  • nisa-pizza May 14, 2010

    "What is wrong with all of you. This person is a really good friend of ours. For your information, he was just driving to work in the morning like most of us do. He was trying to get on the highway and the truck was unable to move over because someone us next to him. He misjudged the distance and the truck hit the corner of the vehicle. He was almost killed and all you can do is just argue with each other about who's fault is was without knowing any of the facts."
    --kpetersn

    It's sad but it's also par for the course on this board. I used to comment on stories & read the comments on this board regularly but have stopped because of all of the specultative and hateful thing that are said that usually have NO BASIS at all.

    I hope your friend will be alright. My prayers go out the him and his family.

  • GranvilleParent May 14, 2010

    What is wrong with all of you. This person is a really good friend of ours. For your information, he was just driving to work in the morning like most of us do. He was trying to get on the highway and the truck was unable to move over because someone us next to him. He misjudged the distance and the truck hit the corner of the vehicle. He was almost killed and all you can do is just argue with each other about who's fault is was without knowing any of the facts.

  • momee May 14, 2010

    mugu... is you take semi-trucks off the road.. how would we survive with reail, food, equipment or anything? They help keep things going around here. And if you read the article... the driver of the jimmy lost control! So how can you blame the truck driver?

  • i3arracuda May 14, 2010

    "oldrwizr - You have offered an opinion but you are mistaken about what merge means. It is not 'Yield' and 'Right of Way'. You are one of those idiots that will LIVE in the right lane and never honor the concept of merge – even if it means running someone off the road."

    Thanks, I was beginning to think this state was hopeless.

    Two biggest problems with drivers in this state: idiots who won't accelerate to cruising speed when merging and idiots who won't shift lanes or adjust their speed to allow traffic to merge safely.

  • eoms May 14, 2010

    Same problem with the merge lanes can be seen at the exit lanes. People slow down considerably *before* entering the exit lane, causing drivers behind them to break. And even worse, cars in the next lane(s) then break too for no reason.

    A great example of this is the 55/54 exit on I40 westbound, just past the Durham Freeway split. All three lanes often considerably slow down because of this phenomenon. Of course, it's a poorly designed exit lane (too short), but it happens. And it happens every day...

    But I shouldn't complain, I40 eastbound in the evening is much more congested.

  • jkbird May 14, 2010

    The sign is meant for you too. Don't know where the rest of the sentence went to.

  • jkbird May 14, 2010

    The biggest problem at the merge lanes is the car on the merge lane. Most of the time the car merging is running 40 mph wanting to merge into traffic running 65+ mpg. This formula does not work. But they will pull out anyway regardless of the situation on the highway. People in the triangle thank that if they give a signal, it gives them the right to pull in on someone. WRONG!!!! Sometimes the driver on the highway can not move over because of traffic and it is very dangerous to slow down enough to let a clueless driver merge into speeding traffic. oldrwizr is right. Vehicles on an entrance ramp and at a Yield sign are required by law to yield to traffic they are merging into. If people in this area would stop assuming that they are special and can drive how they please it would be a much safer place to drive. Drivers Ed apparently is pointless based on the driving habits I observe in this area. And by the way, slow your backside down in school zones also. That sign is mean

  • suncat May 14, 2010

    Moving to the right is ideal if you are traveling on the Interstate and traffic is trying to merge. But if that is not possible, there should be, at a minimum, two vehicle lengths between you and the vehicle in front to allow another vehicle to merge (which you should be doing anyway in the event that the vehicle in front brakes suddenly to give yourself enough distance to stop and avoid ending up in their back seat).

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