A crash on Holloway Street on Thursday night mangled two cars, trapping three injured people until firefighters could free them, snapping a power pole and sending the engine of one car into another car parked nearby, police and fire officials said.
The injured were pinned in the cars for up to a half-hour while firefighters cut away and pried open metal to free them, Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi said.
All three and a fourth person were taken to Duke University Hospital for treatment, but police said their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
EMS medics checked a fifth person at the scene, and he refused treatment, officials said.
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Police said the crash happened at 9:1o p.m. when a 2001 Mercedes going fast on the eastbound side of Holloway Street struck the front end of a 2008 Ford Focus that was making a turn onto Holloway from South Woodcrest Street.
The Mercedes driver, Richard Thompson, 24, of Durham swerved before the impact, and his car was deflected into the pole. and snapped it in half, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said.
The engine from the Focus, driven by Quateria McGirt, 34, of Chapel Hill, was knocked out of the car and hit a parked car and a mailbox, police said.
The cars, one smoking, wound up about 75 yards apart, Iannuzzi said.
Power lines that fell onto the street when the pole broke landed in front of county Emergency Medical Services Station 4 at 2725 Holloway St. keeping that ambulance from being able to get the injured to the hospital.
Repairs to the power lines kept Holloway Street closed through the night.
Thompson and McGirt were taken to Duke along with a 15-year-old girl who was a passenger in the Ford and a 22-year-old man riding with Thompson, Michael said.
The fifth person had been riding with Thompson, too, she said.
Iannuzzi said firefighters were able to free the girl in the Ford in 13 minutes, but it took 31 minutes to open the car enough to take out McGirt, he said.
Thompson was pinned inside his car for 26 minutes, officials reported.
Police said investigators were continuing their work Friday, Michael said. No charges were filed Thursday night.