Trucks collide, shut down I-20

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

COVINGTON -- The collision of two tractor-trailer trucks westbound at exit 98 of Interstate 20 tied up motorists for most of the day Tuesday.

Preliminary indications are that one truck was stopped for a lane closure when it was rear-ended by the second truck, according to Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright. The first truck overturned following the impact which occurred at the base of the ramp entering I-20 from Ga. Highway 11.

According to Newton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell, hazardous material was involved, which exacerbated the problem of clean-up.

"We don't think it is anything extremely dangerous, but we have to treat it as such," he said, adding that the Newton County Fire Service was on the scene and working to clean the roadway. The crash occurred about 11 a.m. and Mitchell said he was hopeful one westbound lane would be open by 4 p.m. Eastbound traffic had also been delayed, he said, with only one lane open on that side of the interstate.

Two people were injured in the crash. The driver and passenger of the second truck were trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated. One was flown by air ambulance to an Atlanta trauma center, while the other was taken by ground transport. The condition and names of the two victims was not known at presstime.

Troopers from the GSP and the Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division are investigating the crash.