I-85 SB shut down after four-vehicle crash, truck fire

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A fiery, four-vehicle crash Tuesday morning involving a tractor-trailer carrying lumber along I-85 South in Montgomery, Alabama, has shut down the interstate for an undetermined amount of time. Four people were treated and transported from the scene to local hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries, according to Montgomery Fire & Rescue.

As a result of the crash, I-85 South is shut down in Montgomery between exits 1 and 6. A timeline for reopening has not yet been determined.

During the course of the crash, the truck struck an overpass, causing significant damage to the bridge’s support columns. The truck also caught fire, and the bridge will have to be assessed for further damage related to the fire. The driver of the truck was identified as Eldon Abram. 

Montgomery Fire & Rescue Chief of Staff Joseph Addie said in a Tuesday afternoon press conference that the agency received the call at 7:26 a.m. Tuesday and, when they arrived at the scene, the tractor-trailer's fire was "well-involved." Addie said there was a "rapid knock-down" of the fire, and the only damage was to the vehicles involved and the bridge itself. 

Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert said the impact of the truck on the bridge's support and the intense heat from the fire caused significant damage to the Perry Street overpass and its support. 

Brantley Kirk, public information officer for the Alabama Department of Transportation, said ALDOT crews are continuing to assess the damage to the bridge.

A detour is in place onto Eastern Boulevard for truck traffic. A separate detour for passenger vehicles is still in the works, she added. Kirk noted that contractors were already on scene Tuesday afternoon to begin preparations for emergency repairs to get the interstate back open as soon as possible.

Kirk said there are no plans to shut down the northbound side of the interstate at this time. 

[Related: I-84 WB full closure cleared two rigs from the Columbia River]

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