Semi crashes cause morning havoc on I-15 in southern Utah
Fuel spill • Tanker rolls, spills 4,000 gallons of fuel.
Published: December 12, 2012 11:52AM
Updated: December 12, 2012 01:54PM
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Wreckage at one of the semi crashes early Wednesday that closed down Interstate 15 in both directions in southern Utah. (UHP photo)

Two accidents involving three semi-trailer rigs closed down both northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 15 in southern Utah Wednesday morning.

By 11:45 a.m., The Utah Highway Patrol said wreckage had been cleared and traffic flow returned to normal along the southbound Cedar City to St. George corridor. Northbound lanes had reopened two hours earlier.

Efforts to reopen the southbound lanes were slowed by cleanup by hazardous materials workers of an estimated 4,000 gallons of fuel that spilled from a Maverik store semi’s tanker trailers. UHP Cpl. Todd Johnson also confirmed that investigators were looking into whether the semi driver in that 2:12 a.m. crash on southbound I-15 near mile post 40 was impaired.

That big rig driver sustained minor injuries and was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.

Johnson said the second accident may have come as another semi driver, possibly distracted by the first accident across the freeway, rear-ended a third semi at 4:22 a.m. The collision caused a load of cucumbers on the front semi to spill onto the freeway.

The driver of the rear-ended semi was treated at the scene for minor injuries, Johnson said.

remims@sltrib.com