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Police searching for hit-and-run driver after 5-car crash on I-40

Law enforcement officers are looking for a driver involved in a hit-and-run accident that was part of a five-car crash on Interstate 40 on Saturday morning.

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Joe Fisher, WRAL multimedia journalist,
Adam Owens, WRAL anchor/reporter
CARY, N.C. — Law enforcement officers were looking for a driver involved in a hit-and-run accident that was part of a five-car crash Saturday morning.

Two people were taken to the hospital after the accident on Interstate 40 eastbound near Aviation Parkway in Cary.

Law enforcement was looking for a tan car with front-end damage that officers say hit a car and left the scene.

The Wake County Highway Patrol said a Toyota Scion was speeding and driving recklessly when it struck a Chevrolet van.

The Scion lost control and came to rest in the left lane of the interstate. The Chevrolet pulled over.

Ashley Smith said she had to act fast to avoid hitting the wreck in front of her, she said. She was driving a Chevrolet sedan.

"As soon as I get on the car, I slammed on the brakes," she said.

But the car coming up behind her didn't stop in time and smashed into the back of her vehicle.

That driver drove away, she said.

"I get out of my car to say, ‘Hey, sir, are you OK?' He backed up, went around me and left," Smith said.

Then, she was rear-ended again as a fifth car, a Toyota, came on the scene.

"The back of my car, I don't have a gas tank," she said.

Her car was pushed into the Scion, which then came to rest on the guardrail.

The five-car crash closed three lanes of the highway until about 8:30 a.m.

Saul Pinto-Molina, 30, of Durham, was driving the Scion, the Highway Patrol said. He was charged with driving while impaired, driving without a license, reckless driving and speeding.

Pinto-Molina was taken to WakeMed with minor injuries. He was released Saturday.

The driver of the fifth car was a woman from Fort Bragg, the Highway Patrol said.

She was taken to Duke Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

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