UPDATE: After major crash on I-75, hazmat crews say be patient and cautious
UPDATE: Interstate 75 northbound is back open after a tractor-trailer crash shut it down for several hours Monday morning.
The truck hit the concrete wall and separated from the trailer. It also leaked fuel onto the roadway.
But it was just another day on the job for Chattanooga Fire Special Operations Captain David Tallent. His hazmat crew responded to the accident.
"The truck hit the wall and lost all of its fuel all of the contents of its oil pan,” he said.
Tallent says this wasn't technically a hazmat situation, but they still responded to contain the fuel and oil. Special Operations Captain Robert Thompson says add containment to cleanup and you're looking at major delays.
"Hazmat calls are always lengthy because of what has to be done to get it up,” Thompson said. “We can't just push the truck to the side of the road and let people drive by."
Monday's crash shut down the interstate and Old Lee Highway for several hours. Thompson understands delays can be frustrating, but tractor-trailer spills are a massive undertaking.
"It goes a long ways, thinks about it. I try and tell people think about it like paint,” he said. “When paint your house a gallon forever, so now we have 150 gallons of that."
There are four simple things you can do.
"Try to take an alternate path, leave early, slow down, move over,” Thompson recommends.
He says hopefully those keep people safe and get them on the road again.
Several departments including the Chattanooga Police Department also responded to today's crash. According to CPD data, there has been one other semi-truck crash on I-75 between exits 8 and 12 since 2017.
PREVIOUS STORY: A tractor-trailer crash flipped the trailer over a retaining wall along Interstate 75 northbound near the Ooltewah exit Monday morning.
The semi struck the wall and the trailer separated from the semi towing it, and went over the retaining wall, landing on Old Lee Highway.
The crash resulted in a fuel spill from the truck's tanks that was contained by teamwork between the Chattanooga Fire Department and the Tri-Community VFD.
Traffic was blocked for several hours as the spill was cleaned up and wreckage debris, strewn across several lanes, was removed.
The driver was treated at the scene but was not taken to the hospital.
PREVIOUS STORY: A crash that involved a tractor-trailer temporarily closed Interstate 75 northbound north of the Ooltewah Exit Monday morning.
The tractor-trailer also spilled fuel on the roadway, which has complicated matters for first responders. The impact from the crash flipped the trailer over a retaining wall and landed on Old Lee Highway.
Northbound traffic is being diverted; drivers should avoid the area and seek an alternate route if possible.
PREVIOUS STORY: A multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 north of the Ooltewah exit is blocking several lanes of northbound traffic.
The Monday morning crash slowed traffic. TDOT Smartway cameras showed police trying to divert traffic before they temporarily closed the roadway.
Drivers should avoid the area until the crash is cleaned up and traffic returns to normal.