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One Person Killed in Fiery I-40 Wreck

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RALEIGH — One person as killed Wednesday in a fierycollision on Interstate 40 in Raleigh that delayed westbound traffic forhours.

A car somehow was sandwiched in between a dump truck and a tractortrailer on I-40 just before its junction with I-440 on the east side ofRaleigh. The car was crushed in the 8 a.m. collision and caught fire,whichspread to the cab of the tractor trailer.

The driver of the car, Martha Asebes, 31, of Clayton, waskilled. Drivers of the dump truck and tractor trailer were not seriouslyinjured.

When two Division of Motor Vehicles officers arrived on the sceneminutes after the wreck, flames were shooting up to treetops.

"The fire was too hot to get too closeto the vehicles," said state DMV Sgt. Marc Nichols. "There was one carpinned under the tractortrailer, the tractor trailer being on fire.It spread into the passenger vehiclethat was lodged underneath it. There'snot a whole lot you can do."

As crews worked to clear the accident from the westbound lanes, one carrear-ended another in the eastbound lanes, a result of rubber-necking,authorities say.

Both accident send a message to motorists.

"Things develop very quickly from onelane to the other, from one second tothe other," said state Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Hunter."The only thing that can helpon the interstate is that you reduceyour speed and increase followingdistance."

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