Interstate wreck strands travelers

JOHN CURRY/Staff
Accident with truck jack-knifed on the I-20 eastbound bridge over the Savannah River Wednesday, November 24, 2010.
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A five-vehicle pile-up brought traffic to a halt on Interstate 20 at the Savannah River bridge for two hours Wednesday morning.

A view from the bridge shows vehicle damage Wednesday morning.  Charmain Brackett/ Special
Charmain Brackett/ Special
A view from the bridge shows vehicle damage Wednesday morning.

Stranded motorists got out of their vehicles and walked around after the 10 a.m. accident closed down all eastbound traffic.

"It puts the holiday in perspective," said one of them, Elizabeth Henning, of Graniteville.

She said she was thankful she was OK, and hoped all the travelers stalled on the bridge could get home to their families.

Lt. Tim Pearson, a spokesman for North Augusta Public Safety, said a wheelbarrow fell out of one of the vehicles and started "the chain of events."

Deputies from Richmond County Sheriff's Office worked to divert traffic that had stalled past the Washington Road exit and blocked on-ramps from Bobby Jones Expressway to the state line.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was called to the scene after emergency first responders noticed a tractor-trailer involved in the accident was leaking diesel fuel.

Spokesman Adam Myrick estimated 50 gallons of fuel spilled from the truck's side saddle tanks.

He was unsure how much of the leaked fuel fell into the Savannah River.

"It's not really a large amount," Myrick said of the leaked fuel. "We've certainly seen spills after wrecks that are much larger."

The trucking company, which has not been identified, will send out its contractor to clean up the fuel. DHEC's role is to observe the process and make sure it's done "as environmentally friendly and safely as it can," Myrick said.

One lane of traffic was opened shortly after 12:20 p.m., with all lanes not opening until one hour later, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Reach Bianca Cain and Charmain Brackett at (706) 724-0851.

Comments (22) Add comment
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Indigo
4
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Indigo 11/24/10 - 10:46 am
0
0
But all other traffic is

But all other traffic is flowing.....

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 11/24/10 - 10:47 am
0
0
I stay off the roads over the

I stay off the roads over the holidays....safer to be at home. Heck it's hard enough just dealing with day to day drivers around here.

SouthsideNorth
0
Points
SouthsideNorth 11/24/10 - 11:03 am
0
0
they even have NAPS officers

they even have NAPS officers blocking Exit 1 eastbound ramp
(as if to stop anyone from going towards accident by means of traveling the wrong way down I20)

Lonewuf
5
Points
Lonewuf 11/24/10 - 11:31 am
0
0
Southside.... I dont know why

Southside.... I dont know why they would be "blocking" that ramp..... I live within eyeshot of that ramp, and I can tell you when NADPS is on it, it's a Liscense & DUI check..... I live in NA, and I have nothing but respect for these and any other community officers who choose to put their lives on the line in service to us (with very little pay or recognition)

everydayguy
0
Points
everydayguy 11/24/10 - 11:36 am
0
0
I drive on this bridge back

I drive on this bridge back and forth to work everyday. Anyone else who drives this way sees wrecks on the bridge fairly reguarly, particuarly eastbound. New construction has been done at and beyond from Exit 5 on the SC side and from the bridge to Grovetown on the GA side. How many wrecks (injuries, deaths) will it take for the two states to get together on resurfing this last strech between the new sections and rebuild the bridge? These incidents will continue until this is done.

humbleopinion
1
Points
humbleopinion 11/24/10 - 12:17 pm
0
0
I don't think it has to do

I don't think it has to do with resurfacing of the road. They need to build a new, wider bridge over the Savannah River. The drivers on this stretch of road also need to pay much more attention. Too many are trying to drive 80 mph and race past traffic before the left lane ends just before the bridge and speed across the bridge. SLOW DOWN. ENJOY THE VIEW! The river is beautiful and if people would just take a moment to enjoy what God has given us we would all be a little bit safer....oh wait. Some are more important than others and feel that THEY get to drive 80 mph across the bridge.....yeah right. See what happens?

PWRSPD
0
Points
PWRSPD 11/24/10 - 12:27 pm
0
0
An interstate highway is not

An interstate highway is not the place to slow down and enjoy the view, humbleopinion. Keep your eyes on the road and obey the speed limits, both of them.

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 11/24/10 - 01:11 pm
0
0
Currently I-20 is closed

Currently I-20 is closed starting at Wheeler Rd exit. They are diverting all traffic off there.

everydayguy
0
Points
everydayguy 11/24/10 - 01:46 pm
0
0
We all need to contact our

We all need to contact our local elected officials on getting this bridge rebuilt and widened at least to past Exit 1 in SC. Where are our stimulis dollars?

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 11/24/10 - 02:06 pm
0
0
they got spent on

they got spent on reproduction cycles of blueberries.

Riverrunner30909
149
Points
Riverrunner30909 11/24/10 - 02:59 pm
0
0
PWRSPD that is the place to
Unpublished

PWRSPD that is the place to slow down. as humble opinion stated idiots are trying to go 80mph or better at time on that bridge and the speed limit is 55mph. i enjoy sitting at a place higher than the road and watching GSP hand out tickets to these fools.

PWRSPD
0
Points
PWRSPD 11/24/10 - 03:03 pm
0
0
Riverrunner-Please re-read my

Riverrunner-Please re-read my comment.

Rolling Eyes
247
Points
Rolling Eyes 11/24/10 - 03:16 pm
0
0
Any word as to the cause of

Any word as to the cause of the accident?

humbleopinion
1
Points
humbleopinion 11/24/10 - 04:03 pm
0
0
Yep, just keep your eyes

Yep, just keep your eyes focused straight ahead 24/7 and never look to the side....even a glance. I stand by my humble opinion....SLOW DOWN to the speed limit and enjoy the view......If everyone used common sense you can drive across the bridge safely and enjoy the glorious view of the beautiful Savannah River......I've done it thousands of times. I'm sure that I drive more than you since I average about 70k per year in my job. The Interstate is safely built for 80 mph traffic, just not at that location......55.....stay alive.....enjoy the view. Happy Holidays.

humbleopinion
1
Points
humbleopinion 11/24/10 - 04:05 pm
0
0
Riverrunner, I too enjoy

Riverrunner, I too enjoy seeing the speeding tix handed out. Just that it is the North Augusta Public Safety officers or SC State troopers doing it there. I have never seen a GSP or Richmond County officer on the bridge.

Batman
18
Points
Batman 11/24/10 - 04:37 pm
0
0
Wishing those involved a

Wishing those involved a speedy recovery!

PWRSPD
0
Points
PWRSPD 11/24/10 - 04:39 pm
0
0
humbleopinion-Keeping your

humbleopinion-Keeping your eyes on the road does not mean staring straight ahead, everyone with common sense knows that. I wasn't speeding to begin with so I don't need to slow down. Sightseeing on a busy interstate with lots of crashes is dumb, no matter how many times you do it, because everyone doesn't drive perfectly, never will. I have a CDL and have logged over 125,000 miles for many years. Just as your knowledge of dogs, you aren't sure of anything, you just think you are.

ozarkalien
0
Points
ozarkalien 11/24/10 - 06:38 pm
0
0
I think we should get the

I think we should get the congressmen of both states to fund a bridge with Ear Marks!!!

humbleopinion
1
Points
humbleopinion 11/24/10 - 08:59 pm
0
0
PWRSPD, you really got

PWRSPD, you really got me......Glad to know that there is somebody with infinite wisdom and skills......You obviously think you have it. Now go in peace and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Oh yeah. Enjoy the scenery once in awhile. A quick glance is all it takes to appreciate the beauty God has given us.

Iamrightyouarewrong
0
Points
Iamrightyouarewrong 11/24/10 - 09:09 pm
0
0
I have to agree with Humble

I have to agree with Humble on this one. ANYBODY can take a glance at the scenery and still be a safe driver. Slow down to the speed limit and use your peripheral vision to see what's around you. You can still be a safe driver and see what's there. I'm also feeling better about being on the road now knowing that others on here are professional drivers that never make a mistake, never drink a cup of coffee, never eat a sandwich, never look at their GPS, never make or take a phone call or do anything besides always obeying every speed limit and always having their eyes on the road. I'll sleep better tonight.

old49er
1
Points
old49er 11/24/10 - 09:10 pm
0
0
If people would drive the

If people would drive the speed limit and stay off of the bumper of the car ahead, we would not have anywhere near the amount of wrecks that we have now. Too many idiots that think the laws don't apply to them fly down the road in and out of lanes, just to try to get there a little bit faster, when it doesn't really save them much, especially when something like this happens.

gijoe7898
0
Points
gijoe7898 11/24/10 - 11:29 pm
0
0
pwrspd must be a

pwrspd must be a "supertrucker". well driver, CDL or not, and I use mine, all of us need to move with traffic, not thru it. as stated, that is a 55 mph zone. when I 4 wheel thru there, nearly everyone is jacking it up.

everydayguy, I don't think it's a "state of the road" problem, I think it's an enforcement problem.

Riverrunner30909
149
Points
Riverrunner30909 11/25/10 - 04:21 am
0
0
PWRSPD sorry about that I did
Unpublished

PWRSPD sorry about that I did misread what you were saying. Guess that is what I get for being in a hurry to leave that time. My apologies

dani
13
Points
dani 11/25/10 - 03:00 pm
0
0
A new bridge..PLEASE! One

A new bridge..PLEASE! One that can handle traffic and make a good impression on visitors to GA. That itty-bitty character-less bridge is downright embarrassing.

Riverrunner30909
149
Points
Riverrunner30909 11/25/10 - 07:02 pm
0
0
The bridge that is there is
Unpublished

The bridge that is there is the same width as the interstate. What else do you need. Stay in your lane and watch out what you are doing and drive the speed limit. I know it does not give you room to swerve and text, but that is not needed. No wreck on the bridges has been the bridge's fault only a driver.

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