One right lane and the exit ramp to Church Street were blocked on I-285 South in DeKalb County on Thursday morning after a tree crashed through a barrier wall and landed on the interstate, hitting three vehicles on its way down.
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

I-285 reopens in DeKalb County after tree debris cleared

All lanes of I-285 have reopened in DeKalb County after a tree fell Thursday morning, busting through a barrier wall and hitting three vehicles. 

A pickup truck took the brunt of the impact. The driver lost control and spun out when the tree came down across the southbound lanes south of U.S. 78 at Church Street, DeKalb police Lt. C. Howard told AJC.com from the scene.

“By the grace of God, he was all right,” she said. 

 

Lisa Buckner was traveling behind the pickup truck and was the first to pull over and check on the driver. It was still dark, and she said she saw “something very big” come down on top of the truck. Buckner called 911.

“He seemed to be fine, but the tree is completely into the front of his vehicle and the windshield, so he is very blessed,” she said.

 

The pickup driver was taken to a local hospital with complaints of injuries.

A pickup truck was hit by a tree as it fell across the southbound lanes of I-285 in DeKalb County on Thursday morning. The driver appears to be OK, according to police. 
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

While metro Atlanta has seen its share of trees falling on cars, Buckner, who is originally from Virginia, said the Thursday morning incident was a first for her. 

“I haven’t had any experience on I-285 like this,” she said. 

Multiple right southbound lanes were closed at times south of U.S. 78 while authorities worked to clear the debris. The exit ramp to East Ponce de Leon Avenue was also closed. 

The ramp reopened about 8:15 a.m., and the travel lanes reopened about an hour later, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center

 

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

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