HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Interstate 10 in Hancock County was shut down following a wreck involving three 18-wheelers on Monday. The wreck occurred around 4:30 in the afternoon and left one person dead.
"I looked up and the truck in front of me was traveling and it ran into the truck that was in front of him and the trailer just exploded," said Ira House, an eyewitness to the crash.
House saw the wreck happen. Even as a former combat medic in the army he wasn't prepared for the moments following.
"My first intuition was to get up there and see if I could help. I pulled up and the truck was already on fire. We tried to get the driver out as best as possible, but due to the fire we weren't able to get close. Listening to his screams of help was very disturbing," House recalled.
The truck driver killed at the scene was 44-year-old Lewis Peak of Valdosta, Georgia. His truck caught fire immediately then spread to the trailer of the other truck carrying paper towels. The fire burned for several hours creating a complicated cleanup.
"The trailers are damaged. So first of all we can't tow the trailers. Also we had the debris and the contents from the 18-wheeler that are on the highway. We've got tractors and bobcats out here. We're going to have to load up the debris and get specialized equipment to move the trailers out of the way," said MS Highway Patrol spokesman Benjamin Seibert.
Also a tanker truck carrying hazardous material suffered minor damage to the back of its trailer. Special precautions had to be taken to remove it. One other person was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries. The cause of the wreck is under investigation.