Local News: Accident shuts down southbound I-55; one dead (07/18/13)

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Accident shuts down southbound I-55; one dead

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The remains of a tractor-trailer involved in a single-vehicle accident on southbound Interstate 55 south of the mile marker 97.2 are pulled out of the woods Wednesday. At least one person was killed in the accident, which occurred just before 5 p.m.
(Adam Vogler)
At least one person was killed in a tractor-trailer accident that shut down part of Interstate 55 late Wednesday afternoon.

A tractor-trailer was headed south on I-55 about 4:50 p.m. when it apparently ran off the west side of the roadway just south of mile marker 97.2, crashed through a guardrail and plunged down a steep embankment into a wooded area.

Cape Girardeau police arrived to find the vehicle engulfed in flames, public information officer Darin Hickey said in a news release.

The driver, whose name had not been released Wednesday evening, was unable to escape the vehicle, Hickey said.

Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton declared the driver dead at the scene.

As he waited for emergency workers to pull the vehicle back onto the roadway and remove the victim's body, Clifton said he was "reasonably certain" the driver was the only person killed in the crash.

Clifton said he did not know the gender of the driver.

At least a dozen emergency vehicles were at the scene, including a Fruitland fire department tanker and a large wrecker from Carnell's Garage.

I-55 traffic was diverted onto Kingshighway immediately after the crash.

The remains of a semi-trailer involved in a single-vehicle accident on southbound Interstate 55 south of the mile marker 97.2 are pulled out of the woods Wednesday, July 17. One person was killed in the accident which occured just before 5 p.m.
(Adam Vogler)
The left lane of southbound I-55 reopened briefly just before 6 p.m., with traffic backed up as far north as the eye could see.

Officers allowed some traffic to pass before closing the lane again to allow the wrecker to pull out part of the damaged guardrail.

The lane closed and reopened several times as workers maneuvered the wrecker into position and prepared to move the semi.

Both lanes were reopened by 10 p.m.

The semi appeared to have been towing a tractor-trailer with a "flammable" placard on it.

It was not clear whether flammable materials were on the trailer during the crash, but a chemical odor drifted through the air near the site. Several trees near the vehicle were charred.

Smoke rises from the tractor-trailer involved in a single-vehicle accident on southbound Interstate 55.
(Adam Vogler)
The length of the skid marks leading to the mangled guardrail suggested the driver lost control of the vehicle about 40 yards north of the spot where it left the road.

Twisted and broken saplings revealed the path the vehicle took into the wooded area, and Missouri Department of Transportation workers used a chain saw to remove a larger tree that was leaning over the shoulder of the road near the crash site.

More than three hours after the accident, intermittent lane closures continued on southbound I-55 as emergency responders worked to clear the scene.

epriddy@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

Interstate 55, Cape Girardeau, Mo.


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So sad
— Posted by Ramfan#1, 07/17/13 at 10:08 PM

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