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Three killed in I-40 multi-vehicle wreck

Posted June 30, 2011
Updated July 1, 2011

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— At least three people were killed in a wreck that closed all lanes of Interstate 40 West in Orange County on Thursday afternoon, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said. 

All lanes of I-40 West at U.S. Highway 15/501 were closed for more than six hours after the wreck, which involved at least five vehicles, including a tractor-trailer, box truck and three passenger vehicles, Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Gordon said.

At the scene, a full-size pick-up truck was wrapped around the grill of the tractor-trailer.

"It is pretty much compacted to the front of that truck," Gordon said. 

Gordon did not say how many people were transported to area hospitals with injuries or the severity of those injuries. The names of those involved were not released. 

One vehicle caught fire in the wreck, which happened around 4 p.m. Gordon described it as "one of the most intensive wrecks I have seen in a long time."

Crews were still trying to determine what caused the wreck. Troopers used helicopters to take photos of the scene, which will be used in a simulation to determine what happened. 

"We are still basically trying to put this puzzle back together," Gordon said. 

I-40 crash Three killed in multi-vehicle wreck on I-40

168 Comments

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  • wenfromwake Jul 1, 1:06 p.m.

    Note: Graybeal was charged with DWI because he had drugs in his system; marijuana and methadone.

  • wenfromwake Jul 1, 1:03 p.m.

    DWI, not DUI, no alcohol involved, but drugs instead; had marijuana and meth in his possession.

  • shann5 Jul 1, 11:44 a.m.

    I think all of you defending the truck driver need to read the latest....sounds like his drunk tail caused it all!

  • andy704 Jul 1, 11:44 a.m.

    This is one of the worst off ramps I ever seen. I go through this area everyday and its always a problem. Having two lanes merge in diffrent directions at the same time is dangerous. Obviously truck driver had other issues, and is completly at fault. DOT really needs to look into this area in general and figure out a better way before someting like this hapens again. My prayers go out to everyone involved.

  • LambeauSouth Jul 1, 11:43 a.m.

    Which Tractor Trailer driver is being charged with DWI ?
    well seeing that everyone claims these drivers are expert it must have been the trucks fault!

  • skyyekatfromafar Jul 1, 11:26 a.m.

    Wow--don't have time to read all 155 posts but from the few showing it seems/appears that all posting here have not only theories but are also very apt/capable drivers. I especially agree with the one poster about the abrupt "warning" of lane changes etc., for unless one is familiar with the area and travels these roads regularly it can be at best a "game of skill" to maneuver the roads safely--not to mention trying to 'guess' what other drivers intentions are as they zip along.

  • HonestAbe Jul 1, 11:25 a.m.

    Truck driver charged with DUI after three people got killed. So much for all of you siding with the truck driver, eh?

  • ncmommacat Jul 1, 11:14 a.m.

    Which Tractor Trailer driver is being charged with DWI ?

  • LambeauSouth Jul 1, 11:14 a.m.

    TRACTOR TRAILER CHARGED WITH DWI!!!!!!!

  • tarheelblue919 Jul 1, 11:11 a.m.

    this isnt a blame game....look at the footage i mean come on, your really gonna start finger pointing when there are folks that are probably only able to be identified by dental records?! HELLO! we have ALL seen the roads and the way people drive and i think that EVERYBODY needs to stop acting like local roadways have been NASCAR sanctified and drive using at least a little bit of a brain!!!!

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