More than 130 vehicles were involved in a pile-up on a stretch of interstate in North Carolina. About 21 people have been reportedly injured so far, confirmed authorities.
At least 130 cars were involved in the massive pile-up. The series of accidents occurred along a stretch of interstate in North Carolina on Sunday evening, causing the highway to be temporarily shut down. The pile-up severely delayed travel late into the night and caused injuries to about 21 people. None of the injuries are life-threatening, shared the relevant authorities. The pile up is being blamed on blinding sun, rain, and rubbernecking.
Despite involving about 130 cars, it is a miracle that no injuries were reported to be serious in the series of wrecks, reported NBC News. The series of accidents happened along a critical juncture where two interstate highways coincide. According to the state Transportation Department, reports of a pile up first started pouring in at 6 p.m. E.T. Most of the accidents happened along a six-mile stretch of freeway where westbound Interstate 40 and southbound Interstate 85 are combined in Alamance County, east of Burlington.
The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office noted nine separate accidents that occurred between Exits 147 and 153 Sunday night, reported WRAL-TV. Seven accidents took place on the westbound side of Interstate 40, with two others occurring on the eastbound side. All of the 21 injured civilians were taken to local hospitals and appear to be doing well, reported Fox News. No injuries were life-threatening, but the cars were significantly damaged.
The county’s emergency officials added that the primary cause of the pile-up on the interstate isn’t currently known, but it may have been an accident involving a jeep that was flung into the air, reported News & Observer. The pile-up was most likely triggered when the first vehicles involved in the mass wreck caused a Jeep to be launched into the air and land on another car near the westbound 150 exit.
The pile caused the interstate to remain shuttered for several hours at mile markers 148 and 150. The highway partially opened after nearly five hours, but the backed-up traffic on the busy interstate caused severe delays, stretching into almost an hour in some spots. The interstate was completely opened around 11:15 p.m. E.T, noted the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Mary Holmes, who was involved in one of the accidents in the pile up, was wedged up beside 30 vehicles that were “piled up” around her. She stated that drivers simply couldn’t avoid hitting each other due to the weather conditions.
According to some of the victims involved in the pile up, it was a terrible day to drive on the interstate. Persistent rains had turned the pavement slick and unsafe for driving. However, it was the brightly shining evening sun that made the conditions even worse. Many complained that the evening sun reflecting off the rain-slick pavement made for blinding conditions.
Incidentally, there appear to be a few more reasons why the pile up was way more severe than it should have otherwise been. Preliminary investigations seem to indicate there were many rubberneckers, who caused several more wrecks. These highly curious people craned their necks to see what had happened, losing their focus on the road.
Locals even complained that most of the drivers never obey the speed limits. The posted speed limits are 65 and 70 mph. However, drivers routinely speed, hitting 80 to 85 mph. There have been quite a few cases of diverted or distracted drivers behind the wheel. A quick peek at the mobile is enough, noted emergency officials. Unfortunately, even weather conditions like rain don’t deter the drivers from stepping on the gas pedal.
[Update] According to Greensboro, a total of 134 vehicles were involved in the pile up on the interstate, and 25 people were injured.
[Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]