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Tanker truck crash kept eastbound I-4 near Lakeland closed for hours

LAKELAND — All eastbound lanes of Interstate 4 were closed at about 5 a.m. Wednesday after a semitrailer tanker truck crashed, blocking the roadway near Exit 28 in Lakeland for more than eight hours.

The interstate, which was shut at Kathleen Road, reopened all but one lane of traffic at 1:30 p.m. The remaining lane reopened around 7 p.m. after undergoing a hazmat clean-up.

While the lanes were closed, motorists heading east on I-4 were being rerouted onto Memorial Boulevard and advised to take alternate routes, such as Polk Parkway, where tolls were temporarily suspended.

The tanker truck, carrying 8,700 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel, collided with a guardrail just after 5 a.m.

Lucius Hamilton Lawrence, 33, fell asleep at the wheel, causing the truck to jackknife across all eastbound lanes and flip onto its side, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

More than 1,100 gallons of fuel spilled onto the roadway.

Lawrence, who was cited for careless driving, suffered minor injuries and was treated at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Tanker truck crash kept eastbound I-4 near Lakeland closed for hours 07/18/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 10:09pm]
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