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Man crashes into crowd, injures three in downtown Clayton

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CLAYTON, N.C. — A Raleigh man has been charged with marijuana possession and traffic charges after driving into a barricade during an overnight BBQ contest and injuring three people in downtown Clayton.

Matthew Cecil Gilbert, 18, was driving down Fayetteville Street just after 2 a.m. Saturday when he failed to stop for barricades blocking the street at Town Square. He struck three people who were participating in an overnight “Squealin’ on the Square” BBQ contest that involves teams cooking barbecue through the night for a contest and sale the next morning.

Authorities said it was fortunate that the incident did not happen during the height of the event when thousands of people are on Main Street and in Town Square for this annual festival.

Three men were taken to Wake Med hospital in Raleigh with non-life-threatening injuries.

Officers determined that Gilbert was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but they did find marijuana in his car.  He is charged with simple possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.