Traffic

String of Durham wrecks slows I-40 traffic for hours

Posted June 11, 2012

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— A string of wrecks Monday afternoon involving 14 vehicles, including a bus, blocked all westbound lanes of Interstate 40 at N.C. Highway 751 in Durham.

The traffic backups had ripple effects on the Durham Freeway and other major roads in Research Triangle Park. 

Driver Twanda Taylor said she never got onto I-40, but still dealt with major delays.

"It took me 30 to 40 minutes to get to what normally takes me five minutes," she said. "It's bad."

David Lyman, driver for Barnes Towing, said he expected to have an increase in calls when the rain started Monday afternoon.

"You get less visibility and slicker roads," he said. "They don't go well together."

I-40 wrecks Wet roads cause string of wrecks on I-40 in Durham

Westbound lanes were closed for more than two hours but reopened shortly after 6 p.m. Traffic was backed up for 2 miles.

Five people suffered minor injuries in the westbound wrecks, said Sierra Jackson, spokeswoman for the Durham Fire Department. Four people were taken to Duke University Hospital, and one was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Police were rerouting westbound traffic onto the Durham Freeway to Interstate 85. Eastbound traffic was being diverted onto N.C. 751. The DOT said drivers should avoid the area and use local roads, if possible, to get to their destinations.

Another crash on eastbound I-40 at Fayetteville Road in Durham slowed traffic in that direction. The right lane remained closed for more than an hour.

15 Comments

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  • Not_Time_Yet Jun 12, 2012

    See the fools driving like maniacs in the rain all the time. No lights, speeding, changing lanes, and doing it all at a faster rate of speed.

    I suppose they think it is safer if they drive faster so they spend less time on the highway. Duh,....

  • frankiejayr Jun 12, 2012

    its sad how people forget how to drive in the rain

  • aquamarine46 Jun 12, 2012

    If you feel the need to drive 1/2 the speed limit and turn on your flashers, at least get in the right lane, but better yet, get off the road because you are a hazard to the rest of us.
    immaannoid
    -------------------------and YOU are the very reason these things happen. Just sayin!!!

  • CommonSenseFTW Jun 12, 2012

    I agree that, around here, it seems that most people just don't use their headlights when it rains... or turn signals, like... EVER! Just FYI, people aren't psychic. If you want/need to change lanes, let us know!

    In my original home state, you could get a ticket for an "illegal lane change" if you changed lanes without signaling. I think something like that would come in quite handy around here.

    Also, make sure your taillights are working and are on whenever your headlights are on. I think some cars can have just the front headlights on without the taillights (or at least it seems that way to me, from all the ones I've seen like that, unless that's just busted taillights)... and that seems awfully pointless to me. The point is not just to see, but also to *be seen*.

  • snowl Jun 11, 2012

    I'd say it's a combination of not using headlights, having bald tires, and excessive speed for the road conditions. I try to avoid 40/440/540 when it rains heavy.....too many bad drivers for sure!

  • Uhavenoclu Jun 11, 2012

    People are just plain rude out on the road anymore. Someone probably in a hurry and couldn't let someone merge into traffic because it would cost them 2 seconds!

    No it's they don't pay attention..They are looking straight ahead and don't look to their sides,left center right,is how I was taught..They change lanes without signaling..they are too lazy or don't know how to signal..You go to Georgia or Idaho,they will pull you over and have a right to search your car if you don't signal,they should d that here.

  • Desiderata Jun 11, 2012

    Simple solution...It starts raining,, SLOW DOWN, TURN ON HEADLIGHTS, BE AWARE OF THOSE ALL AROUND YOU. NOTHNG is worth killing or getting kiled for when you are driving. Ok, realizing I am talking to people...enough said. Praying for those who were injured.

  • sbr1963 Jun 11, 2012

    People are just plain rude out on the road anymore. Someone probably in a hurry and couldn't let someone merge into traffic because it would cost them 2 seconds!

  • BernsteinIII Jun 11, 2012

    The problem is that people who don't know how to drive decide that when it rains, they have to turn on their flashers and drive half the speed limit in the middle lane.

    If you feel the need to drive 1/2 the speed limit and turn on your flashers, at least get in the right lane, but better yet, get off the road because you are a hazard to the rest of us.

  • Scubagirl Jun 11, 2012

    It really amazes me that people just keep on driving crazy, no lights, no slowing down ( until they CAN'T go fast) in conditions like this. Guess they are just TOO important to think that the rules of physics and laws do not apply to them. Some deserve what they get, problem is they cause problems for those who DO take into account the conditions AND the laws.

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