Update: On Tuesday morning, a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation confirmed that Highway 11 was back open to traffic following a fiery wreck. The roadway was closed Monday for DOT crews to assess the damage. There will be intermittent traffic backs, however, as the repairs to the guardrail are completed.
“The bridge had no structural damage and is opened to traffic. We will be using daytime single lane closures over the next few days to repair the guardrail approach and a section of concrete side barrier,” said Katie Strickland, communications officer for the Georgia DOT.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Cal Barton said Highway 11 at the Walton/Barrow County line is expected to remain closed for about 24 hours. This is to allow the Georgia Department of Transportation to assess the condition of the bridge as a result of a fiery wreck on Monday morning, Oct. 2, 2017. Barton said the driver of the single vehicle involved was treated for minor injuries.
“A Kenworth tractor trailer hauling potato chips, driven by Royce Olivet, 50, from Dacula was traveling north on Highway 11. He said he was trying to retrieve cigarettes that had dropped onto the floor when he ran off right shoulder of the road,” Barton said, adding that he came back onto the road, crossed over and struck the bridge on the left, crossed back over and then struck the bridge on the right. “The vehicle then burst into flames.”
Fire crews from both Walton County Fire Rescue and Barrow County Fire Department responded to the fire.
Barton said Olivet was cited for failing to maintain lane and distracted driving. The code on distracting driving notes that a driver must use due care while operating a vehicle. It is separate to the specific code on texting, etc.
Georgia Code 40-6-241 states: “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle, provided that, except as prohibited by Code Sections 40-6-241.1 and 40-6-241.2, the proper use of a radio, citizens band radio, mobile telephone, or amateur or ham radio shall not be a violation of this Code section.”
We have contained the runoff from going into the river, Donnie crews are focusing on extinguishing the fire inside the trailer. Barrow Co EMS treated the driver for non life threatening injuries. Please advise drivers to find an alternate route
Barrow County Sheriff’s Office is reporting this is the result of a crash on Highway 11 at the Walton County Line. They are asking that motorists avoid the area. If it is absolutely necessary to travel that direction, expect to be diverted down Tanners Bridge Road. The road is closed at the Walton/Barrow County Line is closed at this time for an unknown amount of time.
Crews with Walton County Fire Rescue are on route to assist Barrow County Fire Department with a fire reported to be on the bridge on Highway 11 at the Barrow County line. Avoid this area as the road has been closed.
Details to follow.