An emailed statement this morning from Sgt. Steven Jarrett, a spokesman with the Alabama Department of Public Safety, said one driver in the accident had been airlifted from the scene. Further details about the crash will not be released until Tuesday, Jarrett said.
A state trooper at the scene said the accident happened around 4 a.m., but declined to release further information.
Debris and parts of four commercial trucks, including one flipped onto its side, littered the eastbound lanes of I-20 about a mile east of Exit 199 around 9:30 a.m. Although much of the damage had been moved off the road, state troopers and other law enforcement officials had almost a mile of the highway blocked to traffic as crews continued to clean the road.
Despite an earlier statement from the Alabama Department of Public Safety that officials hoped one lane of traffic would be open by 4 p.m., eastbound traffic was still being redirected at Exit 199 through Heflin late into the afternoon. Traffic through downtown Heflin was still busy at 4 p.m., with several commercial trucks using Alabama 78 and Alabama 46 to return to the interstate at exit 205 east of the city.
Sandra Smith, a manager at Marie’s Bar-B-Que restaurant on Almon Street where traffic was being redirected, said a heavy stream of vehicles had been passing by since opening at 8 a.m.
“Our parking lot can’t accommodate commercial trucks, so we actually haven’t seen a lot of customers,” Smith said. “I think people are just trying to figure out where they’re going.”
Two accidents occurred in Heflin today after the crash on I-20. At around 7 a.m., there was a wreck involving two commercial trucks on Alabama 46 about 3 miles from I-20’s Exit 205. No one was injured.
Around 2:30 p.m. a Ford pickup truck and a Chevy pickup truck collided head-on outside of an Alabama Power office on Ross Street. One driver was taken to a local hospital.
Heflin police were assisting officials at the scene this morning, but only state troopers remained cleaning the blocked highway late this afternoon.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.