::Big Wreck On I-40 Causes Big Problems
From Raleigh Chronicle Staff And Wire Reports
Saturday, July 28, 2007
RALEIGH - A big wreck on Interstate 40 yesterday tied up traffic for hours not only on Interstate 40 but other roads as well as commuters tried to find other routes home.
The wreck involved at least eight cars including the fiery destruction of a tractor trailer that kept clean-up crews on the scene late into Thursday night. One man was killed and others were injured in the wreck.
Traffic was snarled on Interstate 40, where the eastbound lanes past the Interstate 540 intersection were completely blocked off for hours. Police officers were posted on exit ramps blocking off access to the road while clean-up and rescue crews did their work.
In addition, long lines of cars developed on Highway 54 and even Interstate 540 starting at the Brier Creek Lumley Road exits.
To make matters worse, a heavy rain fell in the area, slowing down traffic further and even causing more minor accidents on local roads.
Crews were removing the last remnants of the burned trailer from the semi-truck involved in the wreck last night and two lanes of Interstate 40 were still blocked to conduct those efforts.
According to various reports, the wrecks were caused when two pickup trucks collided in the west-bound Interstate 40 laness, causing a tractor trailer to cross the media head-on into eastbound 40 lanes. The truck struck two passenger cars in those lanes, and one of the fatalies occurred when a car was pinned under the tractor trailer.
The truck caught fire and was destroyed completely and the driver received serious burns. Witnesses said they believed the driver was one of the injured who were taken out by the LifeFlight helicopter to the UNC Hospital, which has a burn center.
According to WRAL-TV, one of the drivers involved in the initial wreck that caused the entire incident was driving on a suspended license. That driver was listed as Robert Klimzcak, age 22, of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.
Authorities have not released yet any information on charges in the wreck or if any of the drivers involved will be charged with death by motor vehicle. ::