A three-vehicle crash sent a huge plume of smoke into the Tulsa skyline Thursday morning after two semis and an escort car crashed. Interstate 44 and Highway 169 were both shut down where they intersect near 21st Street and Garnett.
All lanes of eastbound I-44 are closed until further notice.
A semi truck with an oversized load hit the overpass on eastbound Interstate 44 at Highway 169 around 10:30 a.m., causing another semi to crash.
The load peeled off the trailer onto the highway. Another semi truck hit the first, and both semis were engulfed in flames. A pickup working as an escort vehicle also slammed into the wreckage.
The fire sent up a plume of black smoke visible from far away. The wreck burned for about an hour.
One of the trucks is labeled Stone Trucking which is a local company that hauls a lot of oversized freight. News On 6 Storm Tracker Timm Crone was on hand and said the driver of the truck was able to escape before the cab caught fire.
ODOT inspectors looked over the bridge, checking up top and underneath to see if any supports were damaged. Some were. They planned a more thorough inspection once the wreckage was cleared.
The bridge clearance was 15 feet, 8 inches, but the oversized load hit girders under the bridge, underneath the southbound lanes.
The load hit the bridge and rolled backwards, and the pilot truck was pinned under it. The driver wasn't hurt, but it was close. The load penetrated the windshield on the passenger side, but the driver's side was fine.
Despite the severity of the wreckage, which happened at interstate speeds, there were only minor injuries in the crash, according to Tulsa Fire Department Public Information Officer Andy Little.