2 seriously injured after tractor-trailer, box truck crash on I-40 in Benson

A tractor-trailer and box truck collided on Interstate 40 Tuesday morning.

BENSON, N.C. (WNCN) – Two people were taken to the hospital Tuesday morning after a tractor-trailer and box truck collided on Interstate 40 in Johnston County.

Highway Patrol said the tractor trailer was parked on the right shoulder near exit 334. As the driver of the tractor-trailer tried to merge onto I-40, a box truck hit the back of the flatbed.

Highway Patrol said two people inside the box truck were pinned inside the vehicle. The driver and passenger were extricated and taken to WakeMed with serious injuries.

The driver of the box truck has been identified as Jason Smithey of McLeansville. The identity of the passenger was not released.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Larry Eugene Kelly of Durham, was not hurt in the crash.

The eastbound lanes of I-40 near Exit 334 were shut down shortly after the crash.

Highway Patrol said they had no choice but to shutdown multiple lanes.

“Anytime we have a road that’s blocked, we always reach out to the DOT. Luckily in this case, traffic was diverted at an exit so it kind of worked out for everybody as far as logistically,” said Lt. Jeff Gordon, North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Highway Patrol said charges are pending.

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