Early morning commuters on Interstate 10 were stopped cold Wednesday, April 10, after an 18-wheeler wreck shut down both eastbound and westbound lanes at approximately 5:34 a.m.
According to a BPD press release, two utility poles were uprooted from the concrete median when the 18-wheeler jumped the barrier after a collision with a much smaller sedan.
The collision caused the tanker’s fuel tanks to rupture, spreading flammable diesel fuel and oil across all three lanes of westbound traffic.
In the eastbound lanes, one of the dislodged lighting poles fell into the roadway, causing another collision, bringing the total number of vehicles involved to three, the press release said.
By 8:20 a.m., crews had cleaned the eastbound lanes and reopened them.
Beaumont Fire Department spokesman Brad Pennison said crews were working to clean the westbound lanes as quickly as possible.
“We’ve got the vehicles removed and everything,” he said as crews laid absorbent gravel on the diesel-soacked highway. “Now we’re just cleaning up the diesel spill.”
Pennison said road crews should have the westbound lanes open by 10 a.m.
Until they do, police said the MLK underpass is closed to northbound traffic and are recommending drivers use the Magnolia Street underpass to navigate around the roadwork.
No injuries were reported.