RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – A man, whose name has not been released, has been charged with failure to secure an object after a sofa he was hauling fell off the back of a small pickup and caused a chain-reaction traffic accident.
The wreck, on I-40 near the Davis Dr. 280 exit, tied up traffic for two and a half hours Thursday afternoon. Traffic flowed slowly in one lane during the cleanup.
Five vehicles were involved with three people being hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
Late afternoon, some debris was still left of the side of the highway, as well as skid marks from drivers who were trying to avoid a sofa on the interstate.
“C’mon stop, stop, stop.” Ralph Roth, one of the drivers heading toward the wreck, said he was thinking. “I was doing everything i could to stop.”
As much as he tried, Roth couldn’t stop his car fast enough and ran into the back of a tractor-trailer. His car was the last one involved in a chain-reaction with four other vehicles trying not to hit the sofa.
“I couldn’t move to the left because there were cars, a steady stream of cars on my left,” Roth said.
The accident sent the driver of the tractor-trailer and two people from a yellow pickup truck to the hospital.
Ralph and his wife Mary, who were just starting a road trip to Iowa to visit family, are grateful to be able to walk away from the accident.
“I am standing here alive and well, I hope,” Mary Roth said. “We’re just happy to be here and glad that everybody else is ok.”
Ralph Roth said he did not panic but he couldn’t avoid swearing. “I said a few four letter words to myself,” he said.
They are rescheduling that trip for later in the summer.