Two tractor trailers collided on an I-65 bridge in South Alabama Thursday afternoon, igniting a giant fire and killing one of the truck drivers.
Alabama Department of Transportation officials said that the northbound stretch of the W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge could remain closed through Sunday, potentially disrupting travel plans for thousands of motorists on the holiday weekend. The agency encouraged travelers to find alternate routes for holiday travel.
The Wilson bridge spans the Mobile-Tensaw Delta near the town of Stockton in Mobile County and is known locally as the “Dolly Parton” bridge for its giant twin arches.
The Alabama Department of Public safety reported that a 2007 Freightliner truck came to a stop for a crash that had occurred on the bridge. Another tractor trailer drove into the back of the Freightliner, killing the driver of the second truck on the scene. The driver of the Freightliner escaped the crash with non-life-threatening injuries.
A third vehicle was also damaged in the crash, but no further injuries were reported.
Details of the exact cargo involved in the crash remained unknown Friday afternoon, but some reports suggested it was possibly oil or grease.
About 150 emergency workers responded to the crash. Authorities urged the public to be patient with the traffic delays that the crash and subsequent tests created, emphasizing that the extreme heat could jeopardize the concrete and metal structures.