Local News

December 11, 2007

Truck accidents snarl I-75 traffic

Three separate accidents, two of them with serious injuries, snarled traffic along I-75 north near Dalton for almost eight hours on Tuesday, officials said.

At around 10:20 a.m. a tanker truck carrying tar overturned near the Rocky Face exit, spilling its cargo and causing most lanes of I-75 north to be closed for more than four hours.

The truck was northbound near mile marker 336 when one of its tires blew out and the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, Georgia State Patrol officials said. The sound of the blowout led to original reports there had been an explosion, officials said.

The driver was transported to Hamilton Medical Center with minor injuries. No other injuries were reported. Traffic was backed up for miles, with only one lane opened by 11 a.m. as officials cleaned up the spilled tar.

Officials said that around 12:50 p.m. a tractor trailer rear-ended another semi truck that had stopped because of the slow traffic at mile marker 333.

The driver that struck the tractor trailer from behind had to be removed from his vehicle by rescue personnel, officials said. He was taken to Hamilton Medical Center with serious injuries. No other injuries were reported.

Another collision, this one involving three tractor trailers, occurred around 12:55 p.m. at mile marker 331. Officials said that a semi truck had stopped for slow traffic when it was rear-ended by another tractor trailer that was rear-ended as well.

At least two people were seriously injured in the collision. They were transported by LifeForce helicopter ambulance to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, officials said.

Only one lane of I-75 north between exit 328 and exit 336 was open throughout most of the day. Georgia State Patrol reported lanes were reopen around 6 p.m.

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