All lanes are now open on the downtown connector after a tractor trailer crash and chemical spill blocked lanes in both directions for hours.
According to Atlanta Police, a tractor trailer carrying hazardous materials crashed into a passenger car early this morning. The driver of the passenger vehicle was Mitchell Epstein who was driving on a suspended license.
The driver of the tractor trailer was Matthew Bowden and he was given a citation for violation of a D.O.T. restriction on the roadway which means he was not supposed to be traveling inside the perimeter.
The tractor trailer carrying the materials was heading to Rome, Ga.
Epstein was cited with improper stopping in a roadway, driving on a suspended license and improper lane change. Both Epstein and Bowden were transported to Grady.
The crash between a tractor trailer and another vehicle happened around 2:00 AM at the 10th street exit on I-85/75 Northbound. GDOT closed lanes in all directions after a chemical began to spill. The truck was carrying a hazardous material known as benzoyl chloride which has an irritating odor but is not considered to be life-threatening, according to GDOT.
11Alive’s Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes was on the scene and said the chemical smelled like finger nail polish remover. OSHA said Benzoyl Chloride is classified as a both corrosive and/or toxic substance that can cause severe injury, burns or death if ingested or if it encounters skin or eyes. The vapors and fumes from the chemical are described as irritating or corrosive.
Atlanta Fire and Rescue responded to the spill and said the cleanup was initially going to take six hours. It was cleared before 8:00AM and all lanes were reopened in both directions.