Two men died and three were hospitalized after a two-car crash on N.C. 147, the Durham Freeway, near Cornwallis Road on Wednesday evening, the State Highway Patrol said.
The two men who died were back-seat passengers in a 1996 Honda Civic that hit the back of a 2003 Toyota Camry in the northbound lanes, sending both cars off the road just before 7 p.m., patrol spokesman Sgt. Michael Baker said.
Troopers identified the dead as Angel Gonzalo Cruz and Jose Reyes Cruz-Barcenas, both of Durham. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Honda driver, Luis Geraldo Barcenas, and a front-seat passenger, Fernando Cruz, both of Durham, were taken to Duke University Hospital with injuries that medics told troopers were likely not life-threatening.
The driver of the Toyota, Nathan Christian Cowles of Durham, also was taken to Duke with non-life-threatening injuries, Baker said.
Troopers said the Toyota had merged into the right lane of the roadway in front of the Honda.
They said alcohol was not involved in the crash. Accident investigators were conferring with the Durham District Attorney’s Office about whether any charges were warranted, Baker said.