82 cars involved in I-40/85 wrecks

EFLAND -- Interstate 85/40 has reopened after a series of 44 collisions this morning that left 34 injured, with one person in serious condition after being pinned in a vehicle for an estimated 20 to 30 minutes.

Eighty-two vehicles were involved in collisions in the northbound lanes just west of where the interstates split in northern Orange County.

According to Lt. Everett Clendenin of the state Highway Patrol, the wrecks began when heavy rains passed through the county between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m.

The initial collision blocked several lanes of traffic, including one with a Greyhound bus carrying passengers from Charlotte to Richmond. While the bus was stopped, it was rear-ended by a minivan. The minivan’s driver, described by Clendenin as an elderly man, was airlifted from the scene to UNC Hospitals.

All lanes reopened to traffic shortly after 10:30 a.m.