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No charges filed in fatal I-40 crash; fundraiser starts for family of driver who died

Wreck on I-40 closes interstate

A wreck on I-40 eastbound near South Saunders Street killed one person Tuesday, August 27, 2019.
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A wreck on I-40 eastbound near South Saunders Street killed one person Tuesday, August 27, 2019.

No charges have been filed so far after an I-40 crash killed one person and injured three people Tuesday, according to Raleigh police.

According to the accident report, a Stand Up Guys Junk Removal Truck and a silver Mercedes were stopped in the travel lane of I-40 at 11:44 a.m. near Lake Wheeler Road. The driver of the Mercedes, identified as Erica Braswell, was standing in the travel lanes, the report said. The report does not say why the two vehicles were stopped.

A truck, driven by Winfred Hooker, failed to reduce speed when approaching the truck and the vehicle, reports said. It collided with the junk removal truck and then “spun, struck (Braswell), overturned and caught fire,” the report said.

Hooker, of Efland, was killed.

A GoFundMe page has been started to raise money for Hooker’s family. The page said: “The Hooker family needs help with funeral expenses. Winfred Hooker also known as Monkey Man (from Junebugs Creations) was a loving family man, awesome father to Jennifer (Junebug), Brandon and Kyle, husband to Tina and friend to all. He would give his last cent to help others as well as the shirt off his back.”

The fundraiser can be found at gofundme.com/f/winfred-hooker.

The accident shut down one of the region’s busiest thoroughfares for almost six hours, reopening after schools were dismissed and after rush hour.

Braswell’s condition at WakeMed Hospital was unavailable.

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Ashad Hajela reports on public safety for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He studied journalism at New York University.
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