I-10 Standstill

Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 6:18pm

It should be an easier commute across the Atchafalaya Basin tonight, but Thursday morning that wasn’t the case. FNBR’s Lauren Unger has more on the three-hour standstill.

Flashing lights and road closed signs, traffic was crawling or not moving at all. It was not a pleasant commute for drivers along I-10 headed towards Lafayette Thursday morning. Trucker Ernest Dalton’s day of deliveries turned into one big waiting game. “Can’t do anything or go anywhere right about now, so I guess we’ve got to wait it out.”

It turns out the trouble was an overturned 18-wheeler carrying hazardous material. Some people we spoke with waited over three hours. All the backup started when the 18-wheeler crossed the median and flipped. The driver wasn’t seriously injured, but the truck had residue from molten sulfur.

Louisiana State Police Sgt. Markus Smith says, “Had it been loaded, we would have had a pretty serious situation out here, but fortunately the vehicle had unloaded.” But even unloaded, the accident shut down lanes in both directions while the HazMat did its job.

It was a tangle of traffic that threw a curve in the morning commute for many. State Troopers believe the big rig driver could have been drowsy, leading her to run off the road. It looks like no charges will be filed.