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Hydroplaning car started rush-hour pileup on I-40 east of Raleigh, investigators say

25-vehicle wreck ties up traffic on westbound I-40 in Garner

A crash involving an estimated 25 vehicles caused major traffic tie-ups near the Jones Sausage Road exit on westbound I-40 Thursday evening.
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A crash involving an estimated 25 vehicles caused major traffic tie-ups near the Jones Sausage Road exit on westbound I-40 Thursday evening.

A single car hitting water in the road started a chain-reaction wreck on Interstate 40 southeast of Raleigh late Wednesday afternoon, say North Carolina State Highway Patrol investigators.

The rush-hour wreck began when a car hydroplaned and struck the concrete barrier causing drivers behind it to slam on their brakes, investigators says. This caused a chain-reaction crash involving 30 cars, according to a State Highway Patrol news release.

Seven people were taken to the hospital, including one person with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, said Wake County EMS spokesman Jeffrey Hammerstein. Another five people were treated at the scene for minor injuries, he said.

The wreck happened in the westbound lanes of I-40 between Jones Sausage Road and the Business 70 exit near Garner. Fire and EMS personnel, including 10 ambulances, were dispatched shortly before 5 p.m. to the accident scene, Hammerstein said.

The Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

A concert by Florence and the Machine was scheduled at the nearby Coastal Credit Union Music Park amphitheater Wednesday evening.

Video from ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner, showed crews working on multiple groups of wrecked cars. One group of six vehicles was collected next to concrete construction barriers by the median. Another group of four cars was tangled on the opposite side of the road.

Joe Johnson is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer. He most recently covered towns in western Wake County and Chatham County. Before that, he covered high school sports for The Herald-Sun.

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