Semi hauling sweet potatoes crashes, overturns on I-4

Major I-4 delays as semi hauling sweet potatoes overturns

Posted: Updated:

Three lanes of westbound Interstate 4 south of downtown Orlando have reopened after a tractor-trailer lost control and crashed, spilling fuel on the interstate and sweet potatoes down an embankment, authorities said.

Motorists experienced heavy delays through downtown this morning. Westbound I-4 was closed from Anderson Street to just before the State Road 408 entrance ramp as crews worked to clean up debris and diesel fuel.

The semi, headed to Publix, crashed and struck a pole just before 3:45 a.m. at S.R. 408 entrance ramp to I-4. The semi's trailer turned over, spilling the sweet potatoes.

The semi's cab caught fire, but the blaze was quickly extinguished by Orlando firefighters.

A second vehicle behind the semi slipped on spilled fuel on the roadway and also crashed, authorities told Fox 35's Melissa Mahadeo.

"They'll get a flatbed and probably some big tractor to pull that thing from around the pole," Orlando Fire Department District Chief Mike Droege said.

"Then we have to clean up the roadway, and we have a bunch of sweet potatoes on the other side."

Both drivers suffered minor injuries but are expected to be OK.

Check back for updates on this breaking-news story. For real-time updates, go to Liz Horton's or Melissa Mahadeo's Twitter page at @Fox35Liz or @Fox35Melissa.

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