HometownBell County


18-wheeler on fire causes major backup on I-35 in Temple

Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 06:15:11-04

All lanes are now open after a major accident involving eight vehicles and an 18-wheelers on fire in Temple on I-35.

TxDOT said the lanes were all clear around 9:24 p.m.

"An 18-wheeler traveling south on I-35 crashed and caught fire. The Truck Tractor, Trailer and non-hazardous cargo in the trailer was destroyed," said officials.

Officials said the crash involved two 18-wheelers and six cars, with at least one of the 18-wheelers on fire. The incident occurred in the area of Mile Marker 301 and Nugent Avenue around 1:40 p.m.

Fourteen people total were involved in the accident, and two were transported to the hospital for evaluation, said officials.

The vehicle crash is blocking all southbound lanes in Temple. South I-35 at the crash site is closed to traffic, and north I-35 traffic at the crash site is being rerouted onto the service road.

Drivers should expect significant delays. "Due to damage to interstate barriers, traffic is expected to be delayed for hours. Seek alternate routes and avoid I-35 through Temple," said Temple police.

"Emergency responders are detouring all traffic in both directions off of the mainlanes," said the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). "They are currently trying to get trapped vehicles on the southbound side off the highway, and assessing damage to center median."

Grones Environmental is responding to assist with hazardous material cleanup. It is expected to take at least two hours before the mainlanes of I-35 reopen.

Temple police said drivers headed southbound should take the exit for State Highway 317 near Hewitt or Bruceville-Eddy. Those headed northbound should take the Sixth Avenue exit in Belton and continue east to State Highway 95.

Tempe Fire & Rescue responded to the scene with eight units. Other agencies responding included Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, Temple Police Department, Temple EMS and PSC.