Wrecks on I-40 injure six people

Posted March 1, 2010 9:25 a.m. EST
Updated March 2, 2010 12:10 a.m. EST

— At least four wrecks within three miles of each other on Interstate 40 sent five people to the hospital and backed up traffic for up to eight miles Monday morning.

Sgt. Jorge Brewer, with the state Highway Patrol, said that the first, chain-reaction wreck started with a two-vehicle collision near exit 284 to Airport Boulevard around 8:45 a.m.

Traffic started backing up, he said, and a tractor-trailer rear-ended a Honda Accord and a Saturn sedan stopped near exit 287 to Harrison Avenue. The Saturn spun around and collided with a Camry, which then struck an Audi and a Nissan.

Another wreck occurred on I-40 East, between Airport Boulevard and Aviation Parkway, about an hour later.

The driver of the Honda, Gerald Reid, 43, of Raleigh, was listed in critical condition at Duke, officials said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Thomas Harris, 43, of Roseboro, sustained minor injuries. The driver of the Saturn, Karen Jensen, 39, Camry driver Phyllis Burt, 60,  Audi driver, David Coker and Nissan driver Ronbatius Dean, 32, all of Raleigh, also suffered minor injuries.

The highway was shut down for about two hours, and at one point, westbound traffic was backed up for about eight miles, past the U.S. 1/64 interchange to Gorman Street in Raleigh. 

"It's all the way into Raleigh," said driver Desiree Gates, of Clayton, as she in traffic near Harrison Avenue shortly before 11 a.m. "I left my house at 9 o'clock. I'm supposed to be at work at 10."