BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Brandon Fire Department officials confirm three people were killed in a fiery wreck on Interstate 20 Thursday evening in Rankin County.
All lanes of Interstate 20 westbound at Exit 56 have been closed since approximately 7 p.m. Traffic is being rerouted to Highway 80. Authorities say the interstate should reopen by the morning rush hour.
At approximately 6:45 p.m. Thursday, a pickup truck traveling east on I-20 near Exit 56 crossed the median and collided with an 18-wheeler in the westbound lanes, said Brandon Assistant Police Chief Chris Butts.
The pickup truck exploded and caused the 18-wheeler to also erupt into flames. The pickup truck ended up underneath the 18-wheeler on the I-20 bridge over Marquette Road.
The driver and two passengers in the pickup truck were killed, according to the Brandon Fire Department
The driver of the 18-wheeler was transported to a local hospital to be check out, but he is expected to be OK.
It took some time for crews to begin the process of cleaning up the site because of the load the big rig was carrying.
"The truck was hauling a product approximately 12 totes, 2,000 pounds each of a liquid. We determined it was 80% water and 20% ammonium sulfate. That's a very low hazard, but we had to determine that before we could actually go in and begin doing anything," says Brandon Fire Chief Rob Martin.
Butts didn't specify where exactly the pickup crossed the median or how the vehicles ended up on the bridge. Authorities are currently reconstructing the accident.
The skeleton of the burned 18-wheeler can be seen on the I-20 bridge. The hood of the 18-wheeler and the bed of the Chevrolet pick up truck can be seen under the bridge on Marquette Road.