Major Accident Closes I-40 East Of Hazen

Mar 21, 2013

Drivers in stopped traffic near the White River Bridge mill about, waiting for the accident to be cleared.
Credit Malcolm Glover

Interstate 40 was closed in both directions east of Hazen because of an accident mid-morning Thursday near the White River Bridge involving three tractor-trailers and a car.  Around noon police began letting some westbound traffic through.

KUAR’s Malcolm Glover was at the scene and reports an official with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department told him that a car stopped on the interstate and was struck by one truck, with two others then colliding into the wreckage.

Arkansas State Police says one person was killed in the crash and two people were airlifted to a hospital. 

It happened in a work zone, where there is only one lane of traffic in each direction.

Traffic was backed up for miles in both directions and officials said it would take a couple of hours to clear the wreckage.

Glover reports many of the drivers stuck in the backup got out of their vehicles, waiting for the lanes to be reopened.

State police were routing traffic off the I-40 eastbound in Hazen and on to Highway 70.  Westbound traffic was being diverted off the interstate east of the White River.