One dead after two tractor trailer accidents on I-55

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ARNOLD, MO (KTVI) - Two tractor trailer wrecks on I-55 kept crews busy Thursday afternoon.

The first incident happened on I-55 at Butler Hill Road in south St. Louis County, shortly after noon.  According to Sgt. Al Nothum with Missouri Highway Patrol, a tractor trailer containing some type of oxidizer, which is a hazardous material, caught fire in a northbound lane.  The fire was put out, but later reignited.

Then, at around 1:30 this afternoon, on I-55 at 141, also in a northbound lane, Arnold Police Chief Robert Shockey says traffic from the first wreck caused a tractor trailer to rear-end another tractor trailer.  An explosion caused by the collision sent smoke billowing into the air.

The driver of the first truck, a UPS truck, was able to escape, but the driver of the other truck unfortunately died at the scene.

Witness Alyssa Leuschke says, “It’s very traumatic. I feel bad that I couldn’t have done anything, but it exploded on impact. Nobody could’ve done anything. I saw people running over there and I know they were going to try and help, but it was too late already.”

Rock Community Fire Protection District Spokesperson Ron Harder adds, “One of our engine companies was right here in the area as the call was being dispatched, they saw the heavy fire and smoke and were able to get on the scene immediately and start putting some water on it, however the severe heat was really against us from the beginning, and when you’re on the highway, water is of a minimum.”  Harder says several firefighters were overcome by the heat, and had to be put in a rehabilitation area.

These wrecks have also been a challenge for drivers trying to get to their destinations, dealing with closures on northbound I-55 from Richardson Road to I-270, while accident reconstruction crews worked to finish their investigation.


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Related:  Two semi-trucks collide at near I-55 and 141




  • Brandon

    MCKAY, Speed limit has nothing to do with either of these accidents. it has to do with Motorists attention span. if the first truck was able to stop at the traffic, the other should have been able to stop as well. and the first accident appears to have been caused by either malfunction of equipment or lack of maintenance on the truck as you can see in the photos of the first truck at first look i would guess rear breaks caught fire. Don’t try blaming this on a 60&65 mph speed limit zone.

  • CAT

    How about, PRAYING FOR THOSE INVOLVED; instead of ranting on about the speed limit and motorist attention span.

    • Cards Fan

      AMEN Cat…..just ignore the obtuse comments of the agnostics who scoff at prayer. Prayer DOES work!

  • Michelle

    You people are freaking idiots. Why would you say negative things about a situation such as this. Prayer is needed for all involved and for the peeps on here knocking prayer…. I will pray for you first.

    • Fed Up

      AMEN Michelle….the nefarious negativity being displayed is typical of the anti-GOD liberal left who themselves are the very cancer that is destroying our great nation. The only difference between genius and liberal left stupidity is that genius actually has its limits.

  • not happy driver

    I thought that I’d be proactive and exit SB 55 at Reavis Barracks. Sat in 3/4 of a mile line at 1530 only to find out that the signal for left turns onto Reavis was short-cycling and only allowing about five cars in a cycle. And then Reavis had a ridiculously long green light for very light traffic. When my time finally came, a ******* funeral procession came through! On a Thursday afternoon?! Trying to head south, Lemay Ferry was completely bottlenecked; made a u-turn and made it to Telegraph which was also completely bottlenecked. Where did all of you people come from?! School is out and most people work until 1700. Finally made it to Telegraph and I-255 at 1630. Our local transit agencies need plans in effect that move traffic when an interstate closes. Funeral processions need to go away.

  • Adalee Chaffee

    All I have to say, is that you are blaming on the speed limit, I think you’re mistaken. Accidents happen, this could have happened either way…

  • Wlliam" Burt" B. Wuertenberg

    Wow I am from St.Louis originally I grew up in Overland I still love St.Louis and all the St.Louisians who are still there it breaks my heart when tragedy hits St.Louis I may not still be there but when I left St.Louis I left my heart there so home is where the heart is and that is St.Louis and the people of St.Louis are still the people I love!

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