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Wake County, North Carolina – June 22, 2012

A motorist was hospitalized after being rear-ended by a semi on Interstate 40 Friday morning.

According to North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Louis Martinez of Conklin, Michigan was traveling in his semi around 10:10 a.m. when he attempted to change lanes, but failed to yield and rear-ended the 1995 Saturn driven by 61-year-old Bruce Melkowits of Chapel Hill. The impact caused Mr. Melkowits to cross multiple lanes of traffic before striking a guardrail and bridge support.

Mr. Melkowits was transported to WakeMed with serious injuries. Mr. Martinez was not injured.

Mr. Martinez faces a failure to reduce speed charge.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that more than 500,000 semis and large commercial vehicles were involved in traffic crashes in 2010.

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