A wreck between a car and an 18-wheeler hauling Pepto-Bismol at Whiskey Bay caused holiday heartburn for thousands of motorists traveling west on Interstate 10 Saturday.
The two vehicles in the crash were consumed by fire and State Police were forced to close I-10 at La. 415. Westbound traffic was backed up for miles as vehicles were diverted to U.S. 190 while authorities worked to clean up the mess.
At its worst, traffic across the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge ground to a halt as far back as Acadian Thruway.
Trooper First Class Bryan Lee, a State Police spokesman, said the road closure is expected to last well into the evening. As of 8:30 p.m., the interstate's westbound lanes remained closed.
Lee said no one was injured in the crash, but that the car caught fire and soon ignited the truck's trailer as well.
Photos of the wreck released by State Police showed the 18-wheeler — which Lee said was carrying a load of Pepto-Bismol — largely destroyed by the fire.
Lee said wreckers arrived at the crash site to haul off the vehicles around 3:30 p.m. Saturday but that, even after the burnt wrecks were cleared, hours of work remained before authorities would allow traffic to begin moving along the interstate again.
"We've got to look at the roadway and the bridge, make sure it's safe and wasn't damaged by the fire, before we can open everything up," Lee said.