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Three killed in I-40 multi-vehicle wreck

All lanes of I-40 West at U.S. Highway 15/501 reopened late Thursday after a wreck involving at least five vehicles.

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DURHAM, N.C. — At least three people were killed in a wreck that closed all lanes of Interstate 40 West in Orange County on Thursday afternoon, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said. 

All lanes of I-40 West at U.S. Highway 15/501 were closed for more than six hours after the wreck, which involved at least five vehicles, including a tractor-trailer, box truck and three passenger vehicles, Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Gordon said.

At the scene, a full-size pick-up truck was wrapped around the grill of the tractor-trailer.

"It is pretty much compacted to the front of that truck," Gordon said. 

Gordon did not say how many people were transported to area hospitals with injuries or the severity of those injuries. The names of those involved were not released. 

One vehicle caught fire in the wreck, which happened around 4 p.m. Gordon described it as "one of the most intensive wrecks I have seen in a long time."

Crews were still trying to determine what caused the wreck. Troopers used helicopters to take photos of the scene, which will be used in a simulation to determine what happened. 

"We are still basically trying to put this puzzle back together," Gordon said. 


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