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TxDOT, Friday Morning: All Lanes On I-35 North Of Austin Now Fully Open

Courtesy: The Twitter Feed of @KLTV7

SALADO, Texas — All lanes of a major interstate have reopened in Central Texas after a deadly accident involving a tractor-trailer that slammed into a bridge beam in a construction zone. The Department of Transportation says Interstate 35 at Salado, about 40 miles north of Austin, fully reopened before dawn on Friday.

One man was killed and three other people were hurt during the wreck late Thursday morning. Traffic was backed up for miles along the interstate, a main north-south roadway through Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says an 18-wheeler hit and brought down a construction beam over I-35. The beam fell onto a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction, killing the driver, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Debris tumbled on to the interstate, destroying or damaging several vehicles.

The driver was a 32-year-old man from Arlington, but other information wasn’t immediately available, Trooper D.L. Wilson said. Wilson said three other people were taken to hospitals.

The oversized 18-wheeler 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 backed up for miles along the interstate, which is a primary north-south artery through Texas, he said. The interstate was closed for hours. The Department of Transportation said shortly after midnight that it was “barely” open, with the road open before and after the incident site but the main lanes not yet available.

“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.

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.