Local News

Fatal crash involving 3 vehicles shuts down I-40E in Raleigh for 6 hours

Posted August 27, 2019 11:59 a.m. EDT
Updated August 28, 2019 4:05 a.m. EDT

— All eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 in southeast Raleigh reopened after a fatal crash prompted authorities to shut down the lanes for about six hours, resulting in heavy gridlock for much of Tuesday.

The crash prompted Wake County Public Schools to alter their bus routes to accommodate the accident, which occurred between South Saunders Street and Lake Wheeler Road shortly before noon. The lanes reopened about 6 p.m.

Raleigh police released new details around 8 p.m. about the accident. Two vehicles were stopped in the travel lane of I-40 westbound. The driver of the second vehicle was standing in the travel lanes. A third vehicle then failed to reduce speed and collided with the first vehicle. The third vehicle then spun, struck the driver of the second vehicle, overturned and caught fire.

The first vehicle was pushed into the second vehicle as a result of the collision. The driver of the third vehicle, Winfred Kerry Hooker of Efland, was killed. The driver of the second vehicle was critically injured. The driver and passengers of the first vehicle suffered non-life threatening injuries.

So far, no charges have been issued and the accident remains under investigation.

Just before noon, a thick cloud of smoke was visible on I-40 near Exit 298 for S. Saunders Street after a truck caught fire in the eastbound lanes.

Police closed the westbound lanes temporarily after the crash but had reopened them by 12:15 p.m.

Sky 5 video showed at least three vehicles were involved, including a silver Mercedes sedan and two trucks. One of the trucks appeared to be a Stand Up Guys Junk Removal truck, according to Sky 5 footage. Another truck was on its side, completely charred.

Dozens of emergency responders were at the scene, including firefighters, EMS crews and police.