VIRGIN RIVER GORGE, Az. (ABC4 News) – Interstate I-15 is back open after a semi-truck crash and explosion in the Virgin River Gorge Saturday, forcing the closure of the freeway for more than 12 hours.
According to the St. George News, a semi-truck and trailer traveling northbound in the gorge crashed around 4 a.m. Saturday morning on a bridge north of Littlefield. The rig then exploded sending the attached trailer dangling off the bridge.
Witnesses say the driver, who was uninjured, was able to kick out the windshield and escape just before the rig exploded.
The truck was heading north carrying a load of food products when the driver lost control and crashed on Bridge 7, an area of the gorge just recently rebuilt. Burning debris from the fire ignited a small brush fire below alongside the Virgin River.
A crane was called in to lift the burned truck off the bridge. The closure backed up traffic to Mesquite and motorists were forced to use a longer, alternate route around the crash.