Accidents on both I-77 North & South in Richland and Lexington Counties created caused significant traffic delays for Midlands drivers Tuesday morning.
The first incident, which occurred at around 6:16 a.m., caused the two left lanes of I-77 North to be closed a mile south of Exit 12 (Forest Drive and Strom Thurmond Boulevard), according to SCDOT.
The Columbia Fire Department (CFD) tells us a tractor-trailer swerved off the road and hit the guard rail, puncturing the fuel tank. CFD says the fuel leak was mitigated, but follow up protocols, including tranferring remaining fuel in the tank, extended the delay.
Because the leak was classified as a hazardous material spill, SCDHEC also responded, according to CFD. SCDOT also responded to address the guard rail.
At one point, our Efren Afante said traffic was backed up as far as the Leesburg Road/Garners Ferry Road exit and was moving at around 6 miles an hour.
Meanwhile, SCDOT reported another accident on I-77 South near Exit 12 (Forest Drive and Strom Thurmond Boulevard), nearly opposite the first accident.
That accident, which occurred at 7:24 a.m., caused the left lane of I-77 South to be closed.
Several other accidents occurred along I-77 Tuesday morning, including:
I-77 South at Exit 22 (Killian Road),
I-77 South near Exit 2 (SC 35/Cayce/WestColumbia) and
I-77 North, one mile north of Exit 2 (SC 35/Cayce/WestColumbia).