Tomato truck crashes, closes I-20 - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tomato truck crashes, closes I-20

SMITH COUNTY (KLTV) - It took a little more than 12 hours, but things started moving on I-20 around 6:15 Sunday night after a tractor trailer crashed.

Eastbound lanes came to a near standstill near the Hideaway exit, after an 18-wheeler was forced off the road and his trailer flipped.  That happened around 5:30 a.m.

For hours many sat and waited on I-20 as they finally approached the flipped trailer. 

"He said he swerved to miss another car that cut him off at the wee hours of the morning and their weren't too many cars out here on the highway," said Barry Goines, DPS Trooper.

The driver of the tractor trailer says he cut into the grass to keep from hitting the other car, but his proactive action was hindered by soft soil and the trailer flipped.

"You have to bring another truck to off load it to then you have to take that truck back you have to bring that truck tractor flip this over load it this up on the other truck get that on over and the whole time you're shutting down the interstate opening the interstate shutting down the interstate it's a pretty dramatic affair," said Goines.

"The trucks rear end is all twisted around so we're going to have to chain it up actually tow it from the rear end out of here have another truck tow the trailer with the good stuff in it and one trailer for the bad stuff so three whole moves," said Scott Noe, Crow Towing Service.

Some people got out of their cars to watch crews work. Two college students said the final four hours of their trip back to Baton Rouge was going to take longer than they expected.

"Well we've been stopped for the past hour we're the  third car from getting the go and the They stopped the car up there and now we're stuck, all traffic," Nathaniel Givens, heading to LSU.

Crews were on site for a total of 11 hours working to unload cargo, set the truck upright and clean off the scene.

Officials tell us the driver was transporting 42,000 pounds of tomatoes from California to Florida.

Interstate 20 opened just after 6pm Sunday.

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