Truck driver stuck in standstill traffic for 17 hours following fiery I-40 crash

ST. FRANCIS CO., Ark. (WMC) – Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) crews are working to fix a portion of I-40 after a fiery crash Monday.

Tuesday morning, crews made temporary repairs in hopes of getting one lane of eastbound traffic opened in St. Francis County. One lane has now been re-opened.

ARDOT says they will need at least two full nights to make full repairs, and will continue to do so with one lane open.

“We will keep at least one lane open throughout the repairs,” ARDOT Spokesman Dave Parker said. “We are going to be doing it in non-peak travel times and traffic shouldn’t be significantly affected.”

Nearby Forrest City, Arkansas, saw a traffic backup in their small town well into Tuesday afternoon until the lane opened. , while ARDOT assessed the damages the blaze left on a bridge near the center of the deadly crash.

i-40 crash Joshua Medina
i-40 crash Joshua Medina

Forrest City resident Monique Cook said she’s never seen so much traffic in her small town.

“I can’t imagine the inconvenience truck drivers have to reroute their whole itinerary to accommodate,” Cook said. “They keep America running and I hope they get things running smoothly soon.”

One truck driver who was stuck in standstill traffic for 17 hours said it’s already backlogged his business.

“If I’m not moving, I’m not making money,” Clint Hogan said from a rest stop in Birmingham. “I was supposed to be in Orlando today so this is going to throw me off for at least one week.”

Hogan said he is thankful, as the inconvenience could’ve been much worse.

“It does hurt, but I know I heard at least one person died,” Hogan said. “I’m just fortunate that more people didn’t die because it was a bad fire. It was hot.”

There’s no word on what caused the crash, but there were heavy downpours in the area Monday afternoon.

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