State troopers said Monday that multi-vehicle crashes that shut down Interstate 40/85 in Alamance County on Sunday evening began when eastbound drivers failed to slow down in heavy rain and fog.
But they said most of the crashes came on the westbound side of the interstate when rubber-necking motorists slowed down but other drivers did not.
Four collisions involving 25 vehicles happened first on the eastbound side of the highway, State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mike Baker said. He said downpours and resulting fog over the warm pavement changed conditions suddenly shortly before 6 p.m.
By the time it was all done, however, a total of 134 vehicles were involved because westbound drivers were going too fast, following too closely and not paying attention to their driving, Baker said. The westbound wrecks spread over 4 miles, he said.
Troopers said 25 people were hurt, and those who needed to be transported by ambulances were taken to Alamance Regional Medical Center, Baker said.
It took troopers from three counties, Alamance County sheriff’s deputies and police from Graham and Mebane to sort out and collect all the information about the mess before the last lanes on the westbound side of the road were reopened about 10:30 p.m.
Eastbound lanes had been reopened earlier because troopers had to deal with fewer crashes there.