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PHOTOS: At least 1 driver hurt in I-30 crash involving 3 tractor-trailers; police say 'intense fire' damaged road

by Gavin Lesnick, Rachel Herzog | May 18, 2018 at 12:03 p.m. | Updated May 18, 2018 at 6:10 p.m.
A crash on Interstate 30 involving multiple tractor-trailers shut down the westbound lanes of the highway near Hope on Friday. Photo by Arkansas Department of Transportation.

At least one driver was injured in a fiery crash involving three tractor-trailers that closed part of an Arkansas interstate for hours Friday, authorities say.

Shortly before 11 a.m., Arkansas State Police were notified of a wreck of three commercial carrier vehicles along the westbound lanes of Interstate 30 about 2 miles east of Fulton in Hempstead County, spokesman Bill Sadler said.

The crash happened in the transition area of a construction zone where two lanes of traffic merge into a single lane, according to state police. Before the crash, traffic had stopped due to a high volume of vehicles moving into the single lane, Sadler said.

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Photos by Arkansas Department of Transportation

A tractor-trailer loaded with lumber and another commercial carrier were among the stopped vehicles when a tractor-trailer hauling concrete mix on pallets struck the rear of the stopped traffic, police said.

Fire broke out from the collision, Sadler said. At least one commercial driver was transported to a Texarkana hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.

Authorities reportedly diverted traffic U.S. 67 to clear the area. Work is expected to continue through early evening while crews clear the debris from the wreckage and fire.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation said shortly before 3:15 p.m. that the left lane of the highway had reopened. The agency said the right lane would remain closed for several more hours and asked drivers to use U.S. 67 as an alternate route. The Arkansas Online live traffic map showed significant traffic backup in the area as of 6 p.m.

“The intense fire from the accident damaged the right lane,” the agency added, noting repairs were ongoing.

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