Photo of crash, with Sgt. Chad Payne attending, courtesy of Patrick Hickey. The North Dade Fire Department responded to the wreck.
Today's epic traffic snarls in Dade County were caused by a fatal semi-vs.-pickup truck accident at around 2:35 p.m., reported Georgia State Patrol's Cpl. Andrew Gideon.
Gideon said the accident happened when a white Chevrolet pickup truck traveling east on I-24 just inside the county for unknown reasons left its lane, crossed the grass median, and plummeted into westbound traffic, where it struck a tractor-trailer truck head-on. The semi in turned crashed into a guardrail, but its driver though sore was otherwise uninjured. The pickup truck driver died at the scene. The GSP is not releasing the driver's name until family is located and notified, said Gideon, but he did say the driver appeared to have been alone in the truck.
As to the reason for the vehicle's crossing the median, Gideon could not say whether it was a case of mechanical failure or impaired driving, only that an investigation was underway.
Cpl. Gideon said the pickup truck had been full of tools, nuts and bolts, and that these had littered the highway for hundreds of yards, mostly in the westbound lanes. Law enforcement tried to keep one lane of westbound traffic open while this was addressed but had ended by closing I-24 West completely for a couple of hours.
He said the interstate was opened back up completely at 6:10 p.m.