HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - At 2:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Highway 67 southbound was suddenly impassable. State troopers were on the scene within minutes. One of them was Master Sgt. Jeff Rogers.
"It appears he left the roadway, overcorrected and overturned. Moments later, another tractor trailer was traveling south and made contact with the original tractor trailer and ended up additionally off the roadway as well," Rogers explained.
The truck was moved slightly and the roadway partially cleared to make the cleanup easier. Rescue personnel had to access the situation. Pat Sullivan is the Harrison County Fire Marshal.
"We figured out pretty quickly that the cargo was not hazardous, and the driver's injuries were not life threatening, so we took care of the driver first and got him out of there along with AMR," Sullivan said.
That cargo was thousands of cans of Mountain Dew. It all had to be unloaded by hand before the truck could be moved, a process that took hours.
In addition to the traffic headaches caused by this 18 wheeler wreck, there were also environmental concerns as well, because the fuel tanks on the 18 wheeler ruptured and diesel fuel started to leak.
Daniel Stuart was on the scene from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
"As far as this one goes, there were two saddle tanks that busted. The saddle tanks roughly hold approximately 100 gallons each, so that's an environmental impact of 200 gallons, "Stuart explained.
While the truck was being unloaded, other workers soaked and sucked up the diesel residue that made its way to a nearby drainage canal. Despite the challenges surrounding the wreck, the process went smoothly for one reason, according to Sullivan.
"We spend a lot of time training for these types of events and put it into action fairly often," said Sullivan.
Highway 67 southbound re-opened late in the morning. Meanwhile, the driver is expected to be released from the hospital today.