I-95 cleanup complete following tanker truck fuel spill - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

I-95 cleanup complete following Chesterfield tanker truck fuel spill

Source: James Stowe Source: James Stowe
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

After 11 hours, a portion of Interstate 95 South re-opened but delays lasted through Thursday night. It's all because of a tractor trailer crash that sent 4 people to the hospital. Fuel spilled from the tanker - mixed with heavy rain - is now causing an environmental impact affecting the Swift Creek.

From 6:00 Thursday morning through 5:30 Thursday evening, police prevented access onto I-95 South at Woods Edge Road. After the crash, drivers were stuck on the interstate.

"As we pulled up, this is what we see," said driver Demond Wilkins.

He is passing through the area, headed to Georgia to make a work delivery. He and many others found themselves stuck Thursday morning.

"Sitting. Waiting. They said another 3 hours," he said.

Investigators say rainy weather contributed to a terrible crash.

"A white Jeep that was heading south on 95 hydroplaned and side wept the tractor trailer," said Sgt. Stephan Vick.

The tractor trailer hit a barrier wall and overturned.

"The tractor trailer was loaded with gasoline in the tanker and also with diesel for the tractor," Vick said.

7,700 gallons of fuel spilled from the tanker - with 6,000 gallons flowing into storm drains leading into Swift Creek. The crash shut down all southbound lanes for clean-up. It led to a six mile back-up.

"We were really making good time until we came upon the accident," said driver Robin Esterly.

After being stuck for quite some time, many drivers veered into the shoulder to turn around. They were re-routed onto I-295 as I-95 remained closed for much of the day.
Drivers in the area were encouraged to use Route 10 and Route 1 instead.

"It holds me up a whole lot because I don't get paid by the hour, I get paid by the load so when I deliver the product, that's when I get paid so actually right now I'm not getting paid," Wilkins said.

"We're talking a lot, on the phone, texting but our batteries are sort of dying," Esterly added.

The driver and two passengers in the SUV had to be sent to the hospital. They are expected to be ok. The tractor trailer driver was also transported with serious injuries.

The man behind the wheel of the SUV is charged with reckless driving.

Authorities say there are no health concerns when it comes to drinking water in the area, though several fish have died. Those who live near Swift Creek - east of I-95 - should expect to smell the gasoline for several days. People with chronic respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay indoors.

Click here to see the live traffic camera on mobile: http://bit.ly/1sWWBSD

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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