CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) – All eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 reopened at approximately 1:15 p.m. after a fatal crash closed it Friday morning.
The crash happened on I-40 east near exit 312. Around 8:50 a.m., a vehicle traveling westbound crossed into the eastbound lanes and struck a semi head-on, the Highway Patrol said.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol officials said three tractor-trailers and a passenger vehicle were involved.
Highway Patrol confirmed one person inside the passenger vehicle was killed and two other occupants suffered serious injuries.
A woman was killed and her son was pinned inside the vehicle following the collision, according to a witness who spoke with CBS 17.
The driver of the tractor-trailer hit head-on was not injured.
Two other tractor-trailers were involved as they approached the scene of the collision.
They did not make contact with vehicles involved in the fatal collision, the Highway Patrol said.
Highway patrol officials closed the westbound lanes from approximately 11 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. so that their recon team could “map the east bound side.”
All lanes opened at 1:15 p.m.
The crash caused backups on area roads that have already seen increased congestion as the state widens a 12-mile stretch of I-40 from near Friday’s crash site to the Raleigh Beltline.
“Even beforehand, it would be like a parking lot out there,” said Chris Kiraly-Thomas, of Garner. “A lot of locals will avoid 40 here just because of how hectic (it is).”
The work on I-40 will last until 2022 and include improvements to the I-40/NC 42 interchange.
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