13-vehicle crash shuts down I-20 in Fulton County, leads to ‘extreme delays’ for hours

A 13-vehicle crash turned eastbound I-20 into a parking lot in Fulton County during the peak of the Thursday morning commute and led to “extreme delays” for hours.

All eastbound lanes were shut down for about two hours until authorities reopened two left lanes about 7:40 a.m. The wreck was cleared from the interstate and all lanes reopened about 8:15 a.m., Atlanta police said. 


At its worst, traffic was gridlocked for more than 10 miles, coming to a halt back before Lee Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

Eastbound I-20 was a parking lot Thursday morning after a major crash shut down the interstate. Backups stretched for more than 10 miles, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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According to Atlanta police, two tractor-trailers and 11 other vehicles were caught up in a chain-reaction collision when traffic lagged and the driver of one of the big rigs was unable to stop.

The truck hit the rear of another vehicle about 5:37 a.m.

A crash that collected 13 vehicles was caused when traffic on I-20 East lagged and a tractor-trailer was unable to stop to avoid rear-ending another vehicle, according to police. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

“This caused a chain reaction with the other vehicles involved,” Atlanta police spokesman Officer Jarius Daugherty said in a statement. “In all, four people were transported to the hospital in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.”

Wrecker services were called to the scene to remove all 13 disabled vehicles, he said. Before it was cleared, the wreckage was widely scattered. One tractor-trailer was off to the left of the interstate, and the other was hanging off the side. 

The shutdown impacted the commute into Atlanta from Carroll, Douglas, Cobb and Fulton counties. Just before the interstate reopened, the trip time on I-20 from Ga. 92 to the Perimeter was nearly two hours. Drivers crowded onto Veterans Memorial Highway to avoid the delays, according to the Traffic Center. 


By 10 a.m., traffic had recovered, and no alternates were needed.

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow  @ajcwsbtraffic  on Twitter. 

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