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I-26 east closed at Chapin exit by overturned tractor trailer, traffic mired in all directions

Chapin, SC 08/04/2021 (Paul Kirby) – An overturned tractor trailer was laying on its side after it crashed under the Columbia Avenue overpass of I-26 east at the 91 mm Wednesday afternoon. It had the entire eastbound lanes of I-26 shutdown at the Chapin exit as of 1:30 p.m. According to the SC Highway Patrol, at least one other vehicle, a black Lexus SUV, was involved in this collision.

Firefighters and EMS personnel responded to the collisions from two of Lexington County’s Chapin area fire stations. They were being assisted by crews from the Irmo Fire District and the City of Columbia’s Fire Department. Lexington County EMS crews were also on scene working with the injured.

SC State Troopers were quick to arrive on the scene however, because the traffic began to back up quickly, other units that were responding to help became mired in the traffic of the crash and construction zone. Several officers travelled alternate routes to the Chapin overpass and then got on the interstate backward to make it to the scene of the wreck.

Officers from the Chapin Police Department were trying to assist troopers with the tangled traffic that also had Columbia Avenue backed up in both directions. Once again, officers were having to detour themselves around Wood Thrush and Crooked Creek Roads to access the crash scene so they could begin untangling the mess. Troopers said that the interstate had backed up several miles toward both Newberry and Columbia as the crash affected all directions of travel. All roads around the Chapin - I-26 interchange were backed up and officers were advising motorist to give the area a wide berth and find alternate routes of travel if at all possible.

At 2:26 p.m., additional law enforcement personnel were still enroute and wreckers were being called to begin clearing away the tangled vehicles. There is no indication as to when the interstate will be reopened, and the traffic will return to normal.

We will update this story as it develops.


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