DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Various crashes involving 32 cars amid severe thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon closed Interstate 40 in Durham for more than two hours, causing at least 3 miles of traffic back-ups at the peak.
Reported around 5:40 p.m., the wrecks initially closed all westbound traffic on I-40 near N.C. 751 just before the exit for the Streets at Southpoint shopping mall. The final closed lane was reopened just after 8:15 p.m., according to officials.
One of the various crashes involved two cars wedged under the trailer of a tractor-trailer, images from the scene showed. A lane over from that crash, 11 cars appeared to be stuck after a chain-reaction wreck.
The wrecks happened near mile marker 276 just west of the Fayetteville Road exit.
Another image from the scene showed a wall of traffic stopped with about a dozen cars in various crashes stopped on the highway or just off to the side.
An hour after the wrecks were reported, Durham police said 32 vehicles were involved and I-40 west was still closed.
There’s no word about any injuries from the crashes.
The Durham Police Department will be investigating the crashes. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said troopers will be assisting in the response to the wrecks.