Fatal I-40 accident near Clayton began when a car crossed the median and hit a truck

A fatal accident that shut down Interstate 40 near the N.C. 42 interchange on Friday began when a car crossed the median and hit a tractor-trailer truck head on, according to the State Highway Patrol.

One person in the car was killed and two others were seriously injured during the collision, which took place about 8:52 a.m.

Three other tractor trailers collided with each other as they approached the scene of the accident, but they did not hit the car or the first truck, according to the Highway Patrol.

None of the drivers of the tractor trailers were injured.

The Highway Patrol has not released the names of the three people in the car. A spokesman said it’s not clear yet why the car crossed the grassy median or why it was not stopped by the cable barrier.

The crash blocked both lanes of eastbound I-40 just beyond the N.C. 42 exit. At about 11 a.m., the Highway Patrol said it would close the westbound lanes for about a half hour, so investigators could map the crash site.

All I-40 lanes were reopened at 1:15 p.m., the Highway Patrol reported.