UPDATE/9 a.m. (CDT) Thursday, May 23
Arkansas State Police have identified the person killed in what turned out to be a five vehicle accident at mile marker 252 on Interstate 40 in St. Francis County, Arkansas, as Anthony Rhodes, 60, of Arlington, Texas.
Cpr. Steven Roberts, the investigating officer, said Rhodes was driving his 2015 Volvo westbound on I-40 when he failed to slow down for traffic that was slowed down for a previous accident.
Roberts said Rhodes failed to slow and hit the left rear of a 2011 Freightliner and the right side of a 2017 Freightliner, causing the the 2011 Freightliner to strinke a Ram 2500. The Ram then struck a 2014 Freightliner. The drivers of the Freightliners and the Ram were not identified, but were not injured.
It was raining at the time of the accident.
ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. — Four commercial vehicles and four other vehicles were involved in a series crashes Wednesday morning on Interstate 40 about 25 miles west of Memphis, Tennessee, in which at least one person died.
The crashes, which occurred about 7:45 a.m., brought traffic on I-40, one of the busiest truck traffic lanes in the U.S., to a halt, according to the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
The highway department said it cleared debris and damaged vehicles blocking the entire westbound around noon, more than four hours after the wrecks.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Arkansas State Police spokeswoman Cpl. Liz Chapman confirmed at least one person was killed. A report of the crashes also listed injuries.
It wasn’t immediately known what caused the wrecks or the number of people hurt.
“It could be anything,” Danny Straessle, a spokesman for the transportation department, told the Democrat-Gazette.
Straessle told the newspaper Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be the busiest days for commercial trucks along the mainly rural interstate corridor connecting Little Rock to Memphis. Daily travel sees some 40,000 vehicles pass through, and about half are commercial trucks.
“We just see an enormous uptick in the number of trucks that come through,” Straessle said.
The eastbound lanes remained open, and authorities detoured westward traffic around the crash using U.S. Highway 70.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.