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1 Dead, Several Injured After Major Bridge Accident; Traffic Rerouted All Along I-35 North Of Austin

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Courtesy: The Twitter Feed of @KLTV7
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Credit Texas Public Radio
A screenshot of the Texas Department of Transportation twitter feed, updated at 12:32 p.m, central time.

SALADO, Texas — A tractor-trailer slammed into construction beams along a major interstate in Central Texas on Thursday, killing one person and halting traffic in both directions, authorities said.

The truck hit a beam being used to build a bridge across Interstate 35 in Salado, about 40 miles north of Austin. Debris then toppled onto other vehicles, said Department of Transportation spokeswoman Becky Ozuna.

One person was killed and at least three people were taken to hospitals, though the extent of their injuries wasn’t immediately clear, according to the state Department of Public Safety and the local sheriff’s office.

TxDot, which has officially shut down I-35 in both directions near this area, has asked motorists to take alternative routes such as SH 95 between Temple and Georgetown; US 190 from Belton to Killeen; and 195 to Georgetown.

Northbound travelers, please note SH 195, just north of Georgetown will take you to US 190 near Copperas Cove. Go East on US 190 to I-35 in Belton.

For more information on road conditions and current traffic updates, go to the TxDOT feeds on Facebook, and Twitter.

The truck, which transportation officials said was oversized, came to a stop under the overpass with its cab heavily damaged. Two other rigs and two pickup trucks also were involved in the wreck, said Lt. Donnie Adams with the Bell County sheriff’s office.

Traffic was stopped in both directions and backed up for miles along the interstate, which is a primary north-south artery through Texas, he said. “We’ve got more vehicles than we’ve got space for,” said Adams, noting that the area is undergoing heavy construction. He said the stretch of roadway is being expanded to three lanes in both directions and includes new overpasses, exits and other work, he said.

Corbin Casteel said he was traveling from Austin to Dallas for business when he came upon the accident. He said the truck appeared to have struck an overhead beam. “It looked wedged underneath the bridge,” he said.

This is breaking news, more updates expected.