Johnston County Troopers Investigate Tractor Trailer Collision that Shut Down Eastbound Lanes of I-40

The State Highway Patrol responded to a two vehicle collision on I-40 near exit 334 in Johnston County early this morning that resulted in both eastbound lanes of I-40 being closed.

According to investigators, the driver of a flatbed tractor-trailer was parked on the right shoulder near exit 334 near the community of Meadow when he attempted to merge onto I-40 east. As the driver pulled into the far right lane, a small box style truck approached from the rear, striking the flatbed from behind.

The collision resulted in the driver and a passenger of the box truck being pinned inside the vehicle. Both the driver and the passenger were extricated from the vehicle and then transported to Wake Medical Center with serious injuries. The driver of the flatbed tractor-trailer was not injured as a result of this collision and has been identified as Larry Eugene Kelly of Durham.

The driver of the box truck has been identified as Jason Smithey of McLeansville. The identity of the passenger is unknown at this time.

Investigators are continuing their investigation and charges are pending in this matter.

Both eastbound lanes of I-40 are expected to reopen at approximately 12 p.m. today's date.

Traffic is being detoured off of I-40 at exit 334 onto in NC96 as officials remove debris.

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