A deadly multi-vehicle accident in Jackson County on Interstate 85 under the Dry Pond Road bridge on Friday morning was slowed by a hazardous materials clean-up. All lanes opened at noon.
The Georgia State Patrol confirmed at least one fatality in the southbound wreck, but didn’t have additional details available on the victim.
However, the Georgia Department of Transportation said the accident started from an earlier wreck on I-85 three miles south of the Dry Pond Road (Ga. Hwy. 82) exit.
That “fairly simple” accident occurred at 3:30 a.m. and created a back-up of traffic along the interstate, according to DOT spokesperson Teri Pope.
Around 5:30 a.m., a second accident occurred in the back-up traffic from the first accident, she said.
In the second accident, two tractor-trailer trucks, an RV and four passenger vehicles were involved, Pope said. There was one fatality in the accident.
The accident occurred directly under the Dry Pond Road bridge and only caused damage to the guardrails and not the bridge structure, Pope said. DOT crews are repairing the guardrail.
Southbound traffic on I-85 in Jackson County was being reduced Friday morning to one lane and diverted off the Dry Pond Road exit ramp to the interstate entrance ramp and back to I-85, she said. Southbound traffic was backed up about five miles prior to the Dry Pond Road exit.
The northbound lanes were are open, although there were onlooker delays.
Of the two tractor-trailer trucks involved, one was carrying potassium hydroxide — which is used to make bleach, Pope said.
That truck didn’t spill any of the hazardous material and didn’t overturn, she added. However, a hazardous materials team from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division is carefully removing the material from the damaged truck to another vehicle.