Multiple wrecks block Interstate 20 bridge traffic, causing delays

Published 11:15 pm Friday, July 15, 2016

Multiple car wrecks in the left-hand side of the westbound lane of the Interstate 20 bridge shut down traffic on the highway just past the east end of the city limits for almost two hours Friday afternoon.

According to information from the Vicksburg Police Department, the wreck was reported about 3:50 p.m. Friday, when three cars collided in the westbound lane.

A second wreck followed when three other cars were unable to stop for the first collision. At least one person was taken by Vicksburg Fire Department Ambulance to Merit Health River Region Medical Center, according to police, who said the ambulance had to head west in the eastbound lane of I-20 to reach the person, forcing officers to block off the eastbound lanes.

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Other people injured in the wreck were taken to Louisiana hospitals.

Attempts to contact the Delta Marshal’s office for more information were unsuccessful.

Traffic began moving again slowly about 5:40 p.m. then ground to a halt before crawling again.

The wreck turned I-20, Washington Street south of North Frontage Road and the Washington Street I-20 westbound entrance into a large parking lot.

Some people turned into nearby parking lots at a convenience store and the Mississippi State Welcome Center to wait out the delay.

Estimates on how long people had been waiting varied from 30 minutes to two hours. And many were unaware what caused the tie-up.

Dewayne Paulk was one of the many waiting on the entrance ramp.

“We’ve been waiting about 40 minutes,” he said as he sat in his car with his family. “We’re trying to get to Delhi for a softball tournament at 7:30.”

Amy Brown of Madison said she and her family had been sitting in their car for 1 1/2 hours.

“We’re trying to get to a soccer tournament in Dallas,” she said.

Ron Tinsley, a Texas resident, said he had been waiting about 30 minutes for the traffic to clear. He and a friend were headed to Shreveport, La.

Sabrina Wilson of Eldorado, Ark., was on her way home with her family from a vacation in Destin, Fla.

“We’re having an event at our church tonight and the boys wanted to go to it,” she said. “Looks like we’re not going to make it now.”


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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