Durham County

Driver thrown from SUV in I-40 accident that shut eastbound lanes near Durham mall

A Wake County man was thrown from his SUV and seriously injured in an accident on Interstate 40 Thursday afternoon that closed two eastbound lanes and had police urging motorists to avoid the area.

Zachary Reeves, 22, of Rolesville was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer in the far left eastbound lane when the SUV swerved to the right, according to a Durham Police Department news release.

The Ford crossed two lanes to the right, struck a grass embankment and overturned.

Reeves, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle, the release said. He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Two of three eastbound lanes near mile marker 276 were closed, backing up traffic heading onto the evening rush hour, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation website.

The busy intersection is near The Streets at Southpoint mall.

All traffic lanes on I-40 reopened by 5:15 p.m, police said.

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.