Greensboro, NC -- Two separate crashes involving eight vehicles left two people dead and 10 injured Sunday night in the same area of I-40 in Greensboro.
Greensboro Police Sgt. Chuck Brown said "failure to reduce speed" appears to be the cause of both crashes.
Police responded to the first crash at 6:18 p.m. on I-40 east between Koury Blvd. and US 220. Officers continue to investigate how the crash happened. It involved one tractor-trailer and five cars.
Nine people were transported to Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. Darryl Baucum, 15, a ninth grader at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, died at the hospital from his injuries.
Reynolds principal Art Paschal said the school had a moment of silence for Darryl on Monday. Students have also been writing memorials on a 'wall' on the first floor of the school.
Paschal said Darryl's younger brother was also among those injured in the crash.
One of the driver's involved in the crash, Janet Payne, is listed in good condition at Moses Cone.
The second crash happened around 10:15 p.m. near mile post 218. Police said the driver of a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt was traveling eastbound when she collided with the back of a semi-trailer.
The driver, who was not immediately identified, and backseat passenger Matthew Warren, 24, were taken to Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. Sgt. Brown said both were "non-responsive" and in "critical condition."
Latisha Jones, 26, was a front-seat passenger in the car. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jones' cousin, Shavonica Vincent, said she heard about the crashes by watching the news Sunday night.
"I just said to myself, 'I hope it's not anybody I know,'" she said.
"Two crashes right there and then a life was lost in both crashes. It's real sad and then for it to be on Mother's day. Two mothers lost two of their children on Mother's Day," Vincent said.
Sgt. Brown said the two crashes were not connected. He said the first crash was cleared an hour-and-a-half to two hours before the second crash occured.
Construction is happening on I-40 near where the crashes occured. NC Department of Transportation workers have replaced an I-40 Eastbound bridge over I-85 South.
Sgt. Brown said signs were up and well-marked. He said for several years drivers in the left lane near the Freeman Mill Road exit have been used to merging right, but now drivers in the right-hand lane must merge left. He said that seems to be causing a problem for some drivers.
Patty Eason, NC DOT division construction engineer, said crews looked at the set-up of the work zone Monday following the crash. They added a message board to the left side of the interstate to encourage drivers to take I-73 to bypass the congested area.
WFMY News 2