The crashes began with an 11-car wreck on I-40 west near Aviation Parkway in Wake County shortly after it stopped raining.
"Everybody stopped and everybody started piling up," driver Doug Vogelsong explained. ""Everybody was just slamming on their brakes and they started just like dominoes just running into each other."
He avoided hitting anyone and he was not hit.
Angnes Marshall was not as fortunate.
"We heard tires screeching behind us and realized they were getting ready to hit us, so I leaned my head back against the headrest and we got hit," Marshall said.
Another driver, Dawit Sima, also was hit.
"What I remember is the wheel hit me, then I started bleeding a little bit on my nose," Sima said.
She suffered minor injuries but says another driver was knocked unconscious. Traffic officials on the scene say he was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.
The first wreck snarled traffic, which contributed to another wreck father east at Wade Avenue. That crash involved nearly a dozen vehicles. Officials say one person was treated.
At the Cary/Harrison Ave exit, another 8-vehicle wreck and several smaller collisions in-between made matters worse.
In all, about seven wrecks were reported involving roughly 40 vehicles.