I-20 westbound reopens seven hours after truck wreck shuts down interstate

Motorists headed west on I-20 toward Alabama before daybreak Friday faced a huge traffic jam, as all westbound lanes of the interstate were blocked for about seven hours after a couple of tractor-trailers wrecked.

Authorities finally got one of the two westbound lanes open about 6:30 a.m., and the other lane reopened about 15 minutes later.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, one westbound tractor-trailer struck the rear of another truck about 11:15 p.m. near mile marker 19, resulting in a fire.

One truck was hauling produce and the other was carrying food products.

One of the truck drivers, 39-year-old Derek Wayne Smith of Ridge Spring, S.C., was seriously injured and airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center, according to State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright.

Authorities reported a backup of five to six miles, and some motorists posting on Twitter early Friday said they had been stuck in the backup all night.