Why a pre-dawn wreck took so long to clean up today

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Another wreck on the interstate during morning drive time and another long wait while it”s cleaned-up.

In this case it was 6 hours.

That’s what westbound travelers found before dawn this morning.

Cleaning up wrecks involving tractor-trailer rigs is no easy matter.

An 18 wheeler crashed about 4:30 this morning near the bottom of the ridge cut, and turned over, blocking all three lanes.

Traffic investigator, Sgt. Justin Kilgore says “They went ahead and contacted the wrecker to kind of get it out of the roadway so we could try to get traffic moving, unfortunately we could not do that, because of an oil spill that had also occurred.”

“It wasn’t an oil spill just from a truck, the truck was actually hauling motor oil, and quite a bit of that motor oil spilled all into the roadway.”

And, that was the main reason so many people were late for work.

They didn’t clean this one up, but Marion environmental has done it before.

Vice-President Thomas Gallant says “Travel hazard. So if you have oil on the roadway and you don’t clean it up, the next car that comes through, they hit their brakes, they’re gonna slide. So you’ve got to clean it up off the roadway cause it’s a major hazard…you could have another wreck.”

The driver of the semi was slightly injured and no other injuries were reported.

In addition to dealing with the immediate problem, police were also trying to warn motorists of the delay, especially the 18 wheelers.

Kilgore adds “but we tried to get trucks ever further back, there were trucks even further back up on 75 letting everybody know something was going on, if I’m not mistaken we tried to send stuff out as much as we could to let motorists know that things were occurring so to try to seek alternate routes, but there’s only so many alternate routes into downtown Chattanooga.”

Officer Kilgore says people need to remember the speed limit on the interstate is 55 miles per hour. Speed is the cause of many
crashes near the ridgecut.

“One person’s mistake caused everyone else to have issues in the city this morning.”

Categories: Local News

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