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I-20 reopened hours after fatal collision

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - I-20 fully reopened hours after a tractor trailer truck left the interstate and struck a bridge abutment in the westbound lanes just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The driver of the truck was trapped and killed in the collision.

According to motorist who first dialed 911, after striking the bridge, the truck burst into flames. Firefighters and other emergency responders originally had difficulty accessing the fire because traffic in all directions on the interstate quickly came to a standstill. Some emergency resources were able to make their way to the wreck site and once the South Carolina Highway Patrol closed the interstate at South Lake Drive and Augusta Road, all necessary emergency responders were able to travel backwards in the closed lanes of I-20 to the scene of the collision.

Eventually, a detour was set up for westbound motorist. Officers were directing them off I-20 at Augusta Road, through the Town of Lexington, and back onto I-20 at South Lake Dive. A number of law enforcement agencies assisted troopers with detouring traffic. Not long after the interstate completely closed, and once the fire was controlled, some eastbound traffic began flowing toward Columbia and Florence again.

Because the burning truck was right under the overpass at Cedarcrest Drive, personnel from the SCDOT had to inspect the bridge for damages before reopening I-20 or Cedarcrest. Later Sunday night, DOT officials asked anyone who planned to travel Cedarcrest Road to please select an alternate route until further notice.

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher and her team we're investigating the cause and manner of the deceased driver's death. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is in charge of conducting the accident investigation. Coroner Fisher will release the name of the driver once family members have been properly notified.

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