Brandon McLean taken to hospital for surgery after accident on I-540.

Modified Date: 
Wed, 09/24/2014 - 11:13am
Accident Date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2013

Crash injures two, ties up traffic on I-540W.

A crash on westbound Interstate 540 in Raleigh Monday morning sent two drivers to a local hospital and backed up traffic for more than 10 miles during the morning commute.

A crash on westbound Interstate 540 in Raleigh Monday morning sent two drivers to a local hospital and backed up traffic for more than 10 miles during the morning commute.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said the crash happened about 6:30 a.m. near the Leesville Road exit when the driver of a pickup truck hit a Dodge Challenger, causing it to sideswipe a tractor-trailer.

A Toyota Prius then hit the rear of the tractor-trailer, which had stopped in a lane of travel and had its hazard lights on.

There were no life-threatening injuries, Gordon said, but the Prius' driver, Brandon McLean, 23, was taken to WakeMed where he underwent surgery. Neither the extent of his injuries nor his condition was available Monday afternoon.

The tractor-trailer's driver, Walter Gardner, of Goldsboro, was also taken to a local hospital and later released.

Gordon said Gardner was charged with failing to remove his vehicle from the lane of travel; McLean was charged with failing to reduce speed.

Tristan Richards, the Challenger's driver, was not injured. He said after McLean hit the tractor-trailer, he went to check. With the Prius wedged beneath, Richards said he assumed McLean was dead but found him alive and talking.

Gordon said a rear underride guard on the tractor-trailer, a piece of equipment designed to prevents cars from sliding under larger vehicles during a collision, kept the wreck from being worse.

"There's no doubt in my mind that that bar had a significant impact as far as preventing further injuries," he said.

Both state and federal laws require the beam as a measure to help prevent deaths in such cases. Data from Florida and North Carolina has shown a decrease in fatalities as a result, Gordon said.

State law dictates that semi-trailers larger than 48 feet must be equipped with the barrier and extend 4 inches from the semitrailer.

People Involved: 
Brandon McLean
Walter Gardner
Tristan Richards
Roadway: 
I-540

Add new comment

To prevent automated s-p-a-m submissions leave this field empty.