Semi-Truck Driver Dies After Crash In Jonesboro; Overpass In Danger Of Collapsing

JONESBORO, Ark. (localmemphis.com) - The driver of a tractor-trailer died when he crashed into a concrete beam under an overpass in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The biggest concern right now is the bridge could collapse.

It happened in the northbound lane of I-555 at the Harrisburg Road overpass just before 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.


There were multiple explosions after the truck hit the bridge. The truck was carrying hazardous materials, including cans of mixed fuel. Officials say they've never seen anything like this happen.

"We've had plenty of wrecks out here involving 18 wheelers but never had one dead center though of the underpass,” says Jonesboro Fire Chief Brett Winstead.

The driver, 57-year-old Jackie Becker from Jonesboro died. No one else was involved in the crash. Fire Crews worked all day to clean up and put out possible hot spots.

The main focus at this point is stabilizing the bridge, but officials say that will take time.

"The heat of the fire could be a concern,” says Brad Smithee, an engineer with the AR Highway Transportation Department. “We've got to analyze what kind of discoloration what kind of steel damage we may be incurring."

"The supports on the northbound side were completely demolished. And due to the fire, the bridge had actually started to sag,” says Chief Winstead. "The bridge started to cool and it actually rolls back up to where it was."

A crew with the highway department is coming in from Little Rock to install temporary braces underneath the overpass. They're expected to do that Wednesday.

The northbound lane of I-555 will be closed until the end of the week while officials assess all the damage. They're hoping to open up one lane. The overpass could stay closed even longer.

 

 

 


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