Emergency crews responded to multiple accidents on Interstate 40 Monday morning (March 3) caused by slick roadways. Officials said eastbound lanes near the Dora overpass were affected for more than four hours as crews worked to clear the accidents in the area.
The first accident happened just after 5 a.m. Monday when an 18-wheeler lost control, hit the guard rail and jack-knifed, according to Mike Stewart, Asst. Chief of the Butterfield District 5 Volunteer Fire Department. Stewart said the truck’s fuel tank ruptured spilling about 100 gallons of diesel onto the interstate.
The driver of that semi is expected to be okay, according to Arkansas State Police.
Crews were called to the scene to clean up the spilled fuel, Stewart said.
Just west of the first wreck, another accident involving three semis and a pickup truck happened before 6:30 a.m., according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The vehicles involved in this accident were part of the traffic delayed by the earlier wreck.
A semi truck hit a pick up truck causing a “chain reaction” when the pick up truck hit a second semi truck which then hit a third semi truck, according to Trooper Derek Griffey. Griffey said the semi truck which caused the accident and the pickup truck are both likely totaled.
The driver of the pickup truck and two passengers were all taken by ambulance to Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith.
“We were told they were all non-incapacitating injuries,” said Griffey. “They should all be treated and released.”
The driver of the semi truck that hit the pickup truck was driving too fast for conditions and will be cited, Griffey said.