HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - More than 12 hours later, the east bound lanes of Interstate 10 near Diamondhead are now open following a fiery collision.
The wreck involving three 18-wheelers happened around 4:30 p.m. Monday. Sheriff Ricky Adam said one of the trucks was fully engulfed in flames, and one person is confirmed dead. Authorities said 44-year-old Lewis Peak of Valdosta, GA died on the scene.
Troopers have identified the other two 18-wheeler drivers as 59-year-old Razmik Khachikyan of Panorama City, California, and 65-year-old Roger Eppler of Jasper, Texas. Eppler sustained moderate injuries and was taken to Garden Park Hospital. Khachikyan was not hurt in the crash.
Adam said one of the trucks was carrying antifreeze, another was carrying some sort of dessert and the third was hauling paper products.
Adam said it appears the wreck was a chain reaction caused by a broken down vehicle near where the interstate narrows from three lanes to two. He said because of the broken down vehicle, traffic may have been moving very slowly or even stopped.
Adam said the tanker carrying antifreeze was rear-ended by the dessert truck. The paper truck jack knifed as it tried to stop before whipping around and hitting the others. No one hit the broken down vehicle.
The accident caused major delays in the area. Deputies had to divert traffic onto Highway 603 at exit 13.