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Feds Interested in Accident Investigation

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DURHAM — Last Friday's multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 85 in Durham has caught the eye of the National Transportation Safety Board. Safety agents are anxious to see the results of the Highway Patrol's investigation.

That agency has been following the investigation in relation to the setting of trucking speeds nationwide. Representatives will meet with troopers for the last time tomorrow, but final results probably won't be in for another week, at least.

The speed at which Esau Dixon's 80,000 pound tractor-trailer was traveling has become the focus of this investigation.

WRAL-TV5's Bret Baier spoke Wednesday with Transportation Secretary Federico Pena, who was at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Pena says his agency is compiling information as part of a study on the recent rise of speed limits across the country.

The section of I-85 where the accident occurred carries a speed limit of 55 mph, although the suggested speed through the construction zone itself is 45 mph. The speedometer on Dixon's truck reads 59, which is the speed last recorded when the truck crashed.

Pena says the NTSB study will help them to make suggestions regarding speed limits nationwide.

The I-85 accident has become the worst traffic accident in North Carolina in decades

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