Rain Causes Big Delays on I-10 After Car Slams Utility Pole

Friday, traffic was backed up for hours when a car crashed into a power line on Interstate 10, causing it to be closed down.

Several police and fire agencies responded to scene to clean up the mess and reroute thousands of motorists. It’s a driver’s worst nightmare: an entire interstate being shut down for hours. Corporal Benjamin Seibert of the Mississippi Highway Patrol says, “Well we had a car accident right here, I-10 westbound at approximately 8:56. A ’99 BMW left the roadway and the rear end of the vehicle collided with a power pole.”

Both the east and westbound lanes of Interstate 10 near Canal Road were shut down for most of the morning until just after noon. Traffic was rerouted as Coast Electric power crews cleaned up the mess. First responders say closing the interstate is a last resort, but the danger of motorists coming in contact with live power lines was just too great a risk. Pat Sullivan, Harrison County Fire Marshal, says, “The wind was blowing, the pole was swaying, so the potential for a collapse of the pole at that point was great and it was very, very dangerous at that point.”

Many agencies responded to the scene. Closing down the interstate is no small task, but everyone worked together to get the interstate reopened as soon as possible. Sullivan also says, “The secret of this is that we work together every day. We respond to calls every day. We communicate on other calls, so when we have something major like this, it’s not something surprising.”

As frustrating as stand still traffic can be, first responders say their number one job is to keep people safe. Seibert closes, “And actually, when people are on their commute driving down the interstate, I-10 coming to a complete stop is one of the last things on their mind. We want them to realize that stuff like this happens all the time.”

As far as driver of the car who slammed into the power pole, he was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.

Categories: Local News, News

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