GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) — Three people were killed in a wrong-way crash that shut down Interstate 40 in Johnston County on Wednesday night, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said.
According to troopers and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the crash happened around 9:45 p.m. near mile marker 315, which is near the exit for N.C. 42.
According to authorities, the crash occurred when the driver of a Toyota Tundra was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-40 and slammed head-on into a Dodge SUV.
“The Dodge came to rest partially on the jersey wall and caught fire,” troopers said. The Toyota went through the median cable, ejecting the driver — the sole occupant — into the median.
The ejected driver was pronounced dead at the scene. They have since been identified as Nicholas Glenn McGee, 24, of Fuquay-Varina. CBS 17 has learned that McGee had previously been convicted of driving while intoxicated.
Two people were inside the Dodge and both were declared dead at the scene. They have not yet been identified.
Highway patrol officials said, “we cannot provide the names of the two occupants of the Dodge SUV due to awaiting the Medical Examiner’s Office making identification.”
The crash initially shut down all westbound and eastbound lanes of I-40 in the area for about an hour before one eastbound lane was reopened.
All lanes of I-40 in the area were reopened at approximately 2:10 a.m. Thursday, according to highway patrol.
The crash remains under investigation and this story will be updated as more information becomes available.