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Fiery crash causes traffic nightmare on LA 1 Wednesday morning

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EAST BATON ROUGE - LA 1 South has reopened after a fiery crash Wednesday morning.

The crash was reported around 5 a.m. past the Intracoastal Canal Bridge in Port Allen.

One person was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. Authorities say 11 other people refused transport. Nine total vehicles were involved in the wreck, including two 18-wheelers and a car on fire.

Port Allen Police was first to respond and quickly called for back up from surrounding jurisdictions including Brusly Police, Addis Police, and the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. During the morning commute it quickly became a nightmare for drivers and first responders.

"We wound up having to shut down a road to make sure we got all the wreckers in and that's a problem when you got that much traffic," said Port Allen Police Chief Esdron Brown.

The wreck was an unpredictable circumstance that had a great impact on an area that's already feeling a lot of stress from the additional traffic added from the closure of the Sunshine Bridge.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said because of the Sunshine Bridge closure, every feasible and workable detour has been activated already. With Wednesday morning's wreck, there wasn't much else to do but for drivers to wait while the problem spot was cleared.

"The reality is that you have a handful of routes available and the 20,000-plus people that travel a day are not just crossing this bridge, they're impacting other corridors that already might be at 25 or 30,000 people a day," said Wilson.

At least one driver taking an alternate route because of the Sunshine Bridge closure was involved in the early morning wreck.

"He actually took that way because of the Sunshine Bridge being closed," said Brown.

Authorities haven't said what caused the multi-vehicle crash, but Chief Brown says an 18-wheeler coming over the top of the Intracoastal Canal Bridge could not see a car stopped in front of them. It took about two hours to clear.


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