Huge Accident Closes I-59 During Morning Commute

Three 18-wheelers wrecked their rigs on Interstate 59 in Pearl River County early Wednesday morning. The accident closed a portion of I-59 for more than 10 hours.

The cleanup was complicated because one of the trucks was hauling cars which went flying everywhere.

It was the first link in a dangerous chain of events.

"Approximately 30 seconds later, you had another commercial vehicle, an 18-wheeler hauling paper products, strike the auto transport trailer. Just a few seconds after that you had another commercial vehicle, it was an 18 wheeler flat bed type hauling sheet rock. He also struck the auto transport trailer and some of the vehicles that had been knocked off of it," Mississippi Highway Patrolman Jerry Howie said.

The accident left the highway near Poplarville empty for a mile and sent morning drivers miles out of their way to get back on I- 59 south.

Debris from the crashed cars, trucks and even pieces of sheet rock were scattered over the Interstate. Amazingly no one was hurt.

"All three drivers have been discharged from the hospital at this time and that's less than four or five hours of when the accident occurred."

Workers from the Department of Transportation, as well as environmental crews, spent the day cleaning up the mess.

"We're looking at probably, between all three trucks with the hydraulic fuel and the motor oil and the diesel, somewhere between 150 and 200 gallons of product on the ground," DEQ Spokesman Earl Etheridge said.

Officer Howie is just glad it wasn't worse.

"Anytime you have an accident involving three commercial vehicles, you're always fortunate when you don't have any serious injuries."

by Al Showers