Wrecks clog I-285 in DeKalb

Southbound traffic on I-285 in DeKalb County slowed to a crawl Tuesday afternoon following a series of chain-reaction crashes occurring less than a mile apart.

The traffic jam developed following two weather-related highway crashes, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

A total of 15 vehicles were involved just north of Memorial Drive, and seven people were hurt, GDOT said. Another chain-reaction crash involved 12 vehicles near E. Ponce de Leon Avenue; two people were taken to area hospitals.

The accidents closed up to two right lanes at a time.

Southbound traffic backed up into I-85 at one point, and GDOT issued a gridlock alert for the east side of the Perimeter.

Spokesman Bryan Gunter said the accidents have been cleared and traffic congestion on the east side is beginning to ease. The gridlock alert has been called off, Gunter said.