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Trucks carrying lumber, 10k pounds of candles collide on I-285, burst into flames

Lanes have reopened.

ATLANTA — A truck carrying a load of lumber and another carrying 10,000 pounds of candles collided Thursday morning on Interstate 285 causing them to burst into flames. 

It happened in the southbound lanes where I-285 meets Interstate 85 in southwest Atlanta, which is not far from Washington Road and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Authorities said the driver of one of the trucks was entering the interstate when it lost control. They said the driver jumped out of the truck and it continued onto the road when it was hit by two other trucks. 

Brad Norris, who was on his way to work, said his car was clipped by a truck involved in the crash. Norris said he escaped out of the passenger side.

"Two of them caught fire," he said. "My car, gladly, I was two seconds earlier. If not, I probably wouldn't be here today."

"When that one caught on fire, the rest of them caught on fire and started blowing up," he said. "The tires started blowing at us."

The fiery crash shut down the highway for hours. At one point, the College Park Police Department said they weren't sure how long the road would be closed. 

"There are no hydrants on the expressway and we are shuttling water to our engines," they said in a statement.

Many had to use Washington Road down as far as Highway 29 as a detour. Many farther up took Camp Creek Parkway to get to I-85.

While this crash shut down this stretch of I-285, there were other roads and highways impacted as well by the traffic.  And during the evening, there was still a pile of debris sitting off the side of the interstate.