3 killed, 7 hurt in multi-vehicle crashes in SW Arkansas

AP News
|
Posted: Dec 22, 2015 6:24 PM

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Three people were killed and at least seven others injured in separate chain-reaction collisions involving more than a dozen vehicles on an interstate in southwest Arkansas, authorities said.

Arkansas State Police said the first wreck happened at about 11:45 p.m. Monday on Interstate 49 near the town of Fouke. A tractor-trailer driving south slowed down and was rear-ended, causing a chain-reaction crash involving 10 vehicles, state police said.

At about the same time, three tractor-trailers collided in the northbound lanes — which are separated from the southbound lanes by a median. State police said one of those trucks was carrying a large amount of glue that has spilled onto the highway.

Seven people were injured and taken to hospitals in Texarkana. Several others who suffered minor injuries declined hospital care, authorities said. State police said troopers are investigating whether fog may have contributed to the crashes.

Southbound lanes of the interstate were reopened shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday and one northbound lane was opened shortly before 1:30 p.m. while crews continued to clean up the other northbound lane.

Fouke is about 160 miles southwest of Little Rock and lies close to the Texas and Louisiana state lines.

Meanwhile, a multi-vehicle collision Tuesday afternoon involving three tractor-trailer rigs and two cars led to the shutdown of westbound Interstate 30 for several hours near Benton in Saline County, about 15 miles southwest of Little Rock. A state police spokesman said there were four minor injuries in the chain reaction collision.

Saline County authorities initially said four tractor-trailers were involved.

Eastbound lanes were closed briefly to allow medical helicopters access to the accident. Highway police handed out tickets to travelers who stopped to take pictures and slowed traffic once eastbound travel reopened.

A westbound lane was opened about 4:30 p.m., according to state police.