All lanes of I-20 near Haughton reopened after string of wrecks

By Katrina Webber - email | bio

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -  Louisiana State Police have reopened all lanes of Interstate 20 between Bossier City and Haughton which had been closed after a series of wrecks.

The highway was shut down in both directions at one point after several crashes that happened shortly before 5:30 a. m.   However, the westbound lanes reopened within about two hours.

One of the eastbound lanes remained closed until about 1 p. m.

State troopers say the driver of an 18 wheeler swerved to avoid a pickup truck that had crashed on westbound I-20 near mile marker 29.

The big rig then went out of control and crossed the median, and landed in the path of an eastbound 18 wheeler.  

"Then it rolled over," said Rodney Yearick, the man in the second tractor trailer.  "And when it rolled over... I didn't have nowhere to go, so I went right straight through it."

The original semi-truck split in two, scattering its load of automobile floorboards onto the highway.

The driver and a passenger in that first big rig, as well as the driver of the pickup, were transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Yearick and his passenger, Tammy Harling, were not hurt.  But they say they were shaken up in more ways than one.

"All I heard was the boom, and the next thing I knew, I flew clean to the front," said Harling, who had been sleeping in the rear of the truck's cab.

Meanwhile, on the westbound highway, more trouble emerged.

"Two motorists had stopped on the westbound shoulder to help with this crash," said Tpr. Matthew Speir.  "And in doing so, a third vehicle struck (them)."

Speir said the driver who rear-ended them ran from the scene of the crash.  However, at the time, state police had bigger problems:  Both sides of the interstate were shut down.

Police diverted the morning rush hour traffic onto Highway 80, but it began backing up too.

Traffic in the area did not begin flowing normally until early afternoon.