Accident Closes Interstate 89 South Near Montpelier

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(Host) A stretch of Interstate 89 in the Montpelier area remains closed at this hour in the aftermath of a fatal crash.

A passenger car and two tanker trucks carrying milk piled up in the southbound lanes of the highway at around 3:30 this morning.

Sergeant Tara Thomas of the Vermont State Police describes what happened.

(Thomas) "The tractor-trailer units actually caught on fire. There are two deceased. One of the tractor-trailer operators is deceased and also a deceased passenger in the passenger car. And we have to injuries. It’s to my knowledge that they’ve been treated and released."

(Host) The crash started when one of the trucks jack-knifed across both southbound lanes. It was raining at the time and the temperature was near freezing.

The car braked to avoid the truck. A tractor-trailer behind the car crashed into the car and the other truck.

The northbound and southbound lanes were closed entirely for about three hours, but northbound traffic resumed in time for the morning commute.

Sergeant Thomas says it will be some time before the southbound lanes between Middlesex and Berlin can reopen.

(Thomas) "We anticipate the southbound lanes to be closed for much of the day. It is quite a lot of debris that we need to pick up and we still need to get the tanker trucks out of there."

(Host) Transportation Agency officials also will inspect the road surface after the wreckage is cleared to determine whether it was damaged.

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