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Woman charged with DWI in fiery I-40 wreck

Posted March 21, 2010

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— A 21-year-old woman was charged with driving while impaired after a wreck early Saturday that set her car on fire and sent three people to the hospital.

State troopers said that Lauren Hodge, of Durham, was driving on Interstate 40 West, near Aviation Parkway, around 3:30 a.m. when her 2007 Toyota Corolla hit the median. The Corolla went off the right side of the road, struck a large rock and went airborne for 30 feet.

The car caught on fire and was engulfed in flames when authorities arrived, troopers said. Hodge and her two passengers escaped.

Hodge and Mitchalene Brown, 18, of Durham, suffered minor injuries. Ashley Lewis, 18, from Georgia, had minor injuries. They were treated and released from Rex Hospital.

The brake lights were the only part of the car not badly charred by the fire, troopers said.

Troopers said that alcohol and speed were factors in the wreck. In addition to DWI, Hodge was charged with careless and reckless driving and failure to maintain lane control.

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