Teen Killed In Crash With Margarine Truck

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A deadly wrong-way crash shut down the eastbound lanes of Interstate 285 in DeKalb County for several hours early Tuesday.

The fiery crash happened overnight in the eastbound lanes between Ashford-Dunwoody and Chamblee Dunwoody roads. A 19-year-old was killed after crashing into a tractor-trailer, Dunwoody police Sgt. Mike Carlson said. The tractor-trailer driver was not injured, Carlson said.

A witness said as he drove by the truck, he heard a loud explosion.

“It was horrible. It sounded like a stick of dynamite going off,” witness Randy Hinderliter told Channel 2’s Darryn Moore.

Channel 2 Action News filmed the truck lying on its side in flames. Hinderliter said a firefighter snatched one person from a car as it was burning.

Hours later, traffic was still at a standstill. Rows of cars were backed up for miles for more than six hours. By 6 a.m., Georgia Department of Transportation officials said it could be still four or five hours before lanes reopened.

“We’re looking at a pretty long event here this morning,” said GDOT’s Mark McKinnon.

GDOT officials said the tractor-trailer was carrying margarine, adding to the lengthy clean-up. They said the mix of margarine, fire and water created a hazmat situation. Officials said they had to make sure the mix did not run off into any drains.

“The main thing they want to do is try to keep that stuff from running into the drainage system, which will then spill into creeks and streams. So, we want to make sure we do that,” McKinnon told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.

Drivers were advised to take alternative routes to avoid the mess. Channel 2’s Mark Arum advised drivers to take Interstate 75 southbound to Interstate 85 northbound.He said drivers familiar with the area could take surface streets, including Roswell Road.

I-285 drivers were being diverted onto Georgia 400.

Around 6:40 a.m., two outer eastbound lanes of I-285 reopened, but Arum said drivers should still avoid the area.

“I still want you to treat this as a traffic red alert, folks. Avoid the northside perimeter,” Arum said.


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