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The accident occurred at around 6:10 a.m. on U.S. 1 three miles south of the Highway 55 exit in Apex.
The state Highway Patrol said Robert Josey was driving his tractor-trailer when he suffered chest pains and blacked out at the wheel. When he came to, he could not avoid a tractor-trailer that was in front of him.
Both tractor-trailers locked axles and skidded nearly 400 feet on the highway.
"When he hit the other truck, the lights went out on his trailer and I lost where the trailer was, so I'm all over the place, making sure I don't get involved in it," said Kevin Layos, who saw the accident.
Traffic was backed up for miles in that area. Rick Banet was one of the many motorists stuck on U.S. 1 as crews worked to clear the accident scene.
"It's a little bit of a hassle, but stuff happens. You can't get excited about it," he said.
Crews had to clean up some diesel fuel from the tractor-trailers that had spilled on the roadway.
It also took awhile before a wrecker was able to get to the scene because it was caught up in the detours and was diverted the wrong way. Three hours after the accident, crews were able to move the wrecked vehicles and traffic is moving again.
Josey is currently at the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The state Highway Patrol has charged him with failure to reduce speed.
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