3 children, 3 adults injured in I-40 multi-vehicle crash near Garner

Photo by Amy Cutler/CBS North Carolina

GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) — A multi-vehicle crash injured six people and closed Interstate 40 west near Garner for nearly two hours on Tuesday night.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Photo by Amy Cutler/CBS North Carolina

The wreck happened just before 9 p.m. east of exit 306, which is Highway 70 Business, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Six people — including three children — were injured in the wreck which happened as a chain-reaction crash.

Authorities said that traffic was slowing down because of an existing fire on the side of the road.

However, a van rear-ended a Chevrolet Impala and caused that car to collide with a Toyota Corolla, officials said.

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Authorities said witness told them that the driver of the van, identified as Marcus McKinnon, 31, of Raleigh, was driving erratically and at a high rate of speed. McKinnon is said to have run off the road at some point before rear-ending the Impala, which then rear-ended the Corolla.

The impala had two people inside — a 21-year-old woman and a 6-year-old girl. The vehicle was totaled. Both females were taken to the hospital with injuries, according to troopers.

There were three females inside the Corolla — an adult mother and two girls, ages 14 and 2. The mother was uninjured and the two girls were transported to the hospital, troopers said.

After the van slammed into the Impala, McKinnon is said to have made a lane change and hit an Infiniti, totaling that vehicle. Two people were inside the vehicle. The driver was uninjured and a passenger complained of back and neck pain and was taken to the hospital, officials said.

McKinnon was also transported to the hospital.

The three children suffered minor to moderate internal injuries, troopers said.

The estimated speed at the time of impact is under investigation.

All six people injured are expected to survive.

Troopers don’t believe alcohol was a factor. McKinnon told troopers that he may have dozed off before the crash.

McKinnon was charged with reckless driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid collision, and unsafe lane change.

A detour was set up by authorities while the road was closed.

The highway reopened around 10:50 p.m.

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