18-wheeler fire shuts down I-10 West and leads to heavy delays f - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

18-wheeler fire shuts down I-10 West and leads to heavy delays for drivers

Source: Leah Ellsworth/WAFB Source: Leah Ellsworth/WAFB
GROSSE TETE, LA (WAFB) -

Fire engulfed an 18-wheeler on I-10 West on Monday morning, forcing the closure of the roadway for several hours.

It happened a few miles before Grosse Tete. Drivers leaving Baton Rouge were forced to exit the interstate at LA 415 just over the Horace Wilkinson Bridge (New Bridge) and go over to US 190.

"We just want to go home," said Sue Stephenson, who was heading back to Houston. "Now, we're in a mess because this is all closed and there's more traffic this way."

There were also those who were working, but found themselves caught in the same backup. A group of men was moving an oversize load to Texas when a deputy with the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office escorted them off the highway.

"Our plans are just to wait here until they get the road open," said Roy Long of Long's Pilot Car Service in Meridian, MS. "That's all we can do."

While the accident meant huge delays for drivers, the major detour meant big sales for businesses on LA 415.

"We've been really busy since we have the lowest gas prices anywhere around," said Ingrid Hunt, a manager at Wildfire Fuel Stop and Casino.

Crews worked late into the afternoon to clear the scene. Hours after the flames were put out, cleanup crews worked to remove 5,000 gallons of motor oil, which spilled from the tanker truck.

One lane of I-10 westbound opened at 12:30 p.m. The other lane was reopened around 2:30 p.m. The cleanup continued into Monday evening. 

No injuries were reported.

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