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    I-40, I-630, I-540 all blocked and stalled due to accidents, weather

    10:56 PM, Feb 9, 2011   |    comments
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    • Picture from THV's Ashley Blackstone of traffic on I-40.
    • Picture of I-40 near Galloway by Ashley Blackstone.
    • Picture of I-40 near Galloway by Ashley Blackstone.
    • Picture from THV's Ashley Blackstone of traffic on I-40.
    • Picture from THV photographer Oran Hardcastle.
    • Picture from THV producer Kerri Margrave of wreck on I-30.
    • THV's Ashley Blackstone sent this picture of I-30 eastbound ramp closed.
    • I-40 at Galloway covered in snow. Picture by THV photographer Oran Hardcastle
        

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A fatal car wreck on I-40 eastbound at Galloway, wreck at I-30 and I-630 and I-40 at Kerr Road and I-540 all at a standstill due to accidents and winter weather.

    Bumper to bumper, backed up for miles and no end in sight.

    David Dunn works with Glover's towing says, "We have been out here two and a half hours and there are 33 trucks in the ditch."

    Interstate 40 west and east bound lanes both shut down around 9:30 Wednesday morning.

    Dunn explains, "Get the trucks and get the road cleared as quickly as possible."

    But it's not soon enough for Dave Schoop, a truck driver for ten years.

    "I've been going since four o'clock this morning. I am burned out. I am tired."

    He's been stuck for more than five hours and says this is the worst accident he's ever seen.

    Schoop says, "A truck hit me in the back then another one hit him in the back and another hit him in the back and they were all piling up."

    Because of the poor visibility and the freezing temperatures that are expected on Thursday the tow truck drivers say it could take several days before the tractor trailers are out.

    Dunn says, "We are eating some bologna sandwiches and are going to work until it's finished."

    Highway officials suggest drivers use Highway 70 instead of Interstate 40.

    Arkansas highway officials say Interstate 540, from Interstate 40 north to Fayetteville, has reopened after being closed for several hours because of multiple accidents as heavy snow continues to fall in Northwest Arkansas.

    However, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's road-conditions web-site page said I-540 from Fayetteville north to the Benton County line remained closed at mid-day Wednesday.

    The National Weather Service said new snowfall totaled 20 inches at Gentry in western Benton County as of 9 a.m. Other totals in the area included 16 inches in Springdale and 14 inches at Fayetteville. 

    Anyone familiar with Little Rock knows that John Barrow road has many hills. Those snow covered hills proved to be treacherous for numerous drivers this morning. As cars traveling south attempted to get up the hill near I-630, they began sliding backwards and sideways and at least five cars, ended up in a pile, facing different directions. The pile-up caused problems for other traffic trying to navigate the road. There didn't appear to be any injuries. 

    Traffic elsewhere is slowed all over central Arkansas as the snow falls. Roads are slick with traffic moving slowly.

    THV cautions everyone as you get on the roads today take your time and drive carefully. If you do not have to get out today, don't.

    You can check out road conditions on the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's road map or call 1-800-245-1672.

    THV is sending crews to check out traffic and follow up with some wreckers and will have the latest on Today's THV and todaysthv.com.

    (Source: Today's THV and The Associated Press)

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