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Wrong-Way Driver Collides With Tractor-Trailer

A car traveling the wrong way on Interstate 40/85 in Alamance County collided head-on with a tractor-trailer Wednesday morning, authorities said.

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BURLINGTON, N.C. — Part of Interstates 85/40 were shut down for more than five hours Wednesday after an accident involving a tractor-trailer in Alamance County.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the driver, Emma Hammos, 78, of Whitsett, got onto the highway from the Huffman Mill Road exit ramp after leaving a nearby IHOP. She drove her 1991 Cadillac the wrong way for around a mile before colliding head-on with a northbound tractor-trailer shortly before noon.

Investigators said the tractor-trailer driver, Ricky Outlaw, 40, of New Bern, saved lives with his quick thinking. Outlaw turned his truck into the median, avoiding hitting other vehicles.

Hammos, who drove a 1991 Cadillac, received minor injuries. Outlaw had no visible injuries, troopers said.

Two of the four northbound lanes were closed, and traffic was backed up for miles as crews worked to clear the wreckage.

Investigators said they have seen the exit and entrance ramps in this area confuse drivers before.

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