All lanes of Interstate 10 westbound reopened to traffic at 8 p.m. Friday after authorities finished removing debris left behind from a truck crash Thursday night that left one man dead and another injured, State Police said.
The crash occurred at 8:30 p.m. Thursday when an eastbound 18-wheeler, for unknown reasons, crossed over the median into the westbound lane and struck another 18-wheeler head-on, Henderson Police Lt. Mack Lloyd said.
The driver of the westbound 18-wheeler, which was carrying drilling mud and caught fire, was killed in the crash, Lloyd said.
The eastbound 18-wheeler went off the road to the left and rolled over on its side, Lloyd said. The driver of that vehicle was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, Lloyd said.
The crash occurred near a small bridge located near the Atchafalaya Basin bridge in Henderson, Lloyd said.
Henderson is in St. Martin Parish.
Lloyd did not release the identity of the crash victims Friday.
The state Department of Transportation and Development had urged motorists who were traveling west toward Lafayette to use Interstate 110 North in Baton Rouge to get to U.S. 190 West as an alternate route while the daylong cleanup effort was under way.
Rodney Mallett, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Quality, said the material on the 18-wheeler is used to lubricate bore holes during the drilling of gas wells.
Mallet said the material was washed off into a ditch, where it is being contained by two dams constructed on either side of the ditch.
It will then be vacuumed out and a soil sample will be taken at the site to determine whether further remediation is required, Mallett said.
The company that owned the truck has hired a contractor to clean up the spill, Mallett said. The contractor will use an absorbent material to remove any residue from the street, he said.
The interstate closure comes nearly two months after an 18-wheeler drove into the rear of a tanker truck carrying 8,700 gallons of isobutene. That crash shut down I-10 between Essen Lane and Bluebonnet Boulevard for 27 hours.
The collision, which occurred as both vehicles were attempting to stop quickly after a vehicle overturned on the interstate, destroyed the tanker truck’s valve system, resulting in a vapor leak.