HOT SPRING COUNTY, Ark. – Officials at the scene said a series of crashes on Interstate 30 in Hot Spring County left at least three people dead and others injured, blocking traffic on the highway and diverting vehicles.
A spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Transportation told KARK 4 News that as many as five crashes happened in the area just north of Caddo Valley Wednesday afternoon. A minor wreck led to the largest collision, a multi-vehicle crash on I-30 near Mile Maker 85.5 around 1 p.m. Wednesday. Officials said as many as three more crashes came out of that wreck.
Plumes of smoke could be seen coming from ARDOT cameras near the scene around that time. Another camera farther up the interstate showed a minivan pulled to the side of the road with the occupants standing on the highway directing traffic to the off-ramp until a state trooper arrived to take over.
Officials with ARDOT confirmed that eight tractor-trailers and three passenger vehicles were involved in the main crash and that there was a massive fire at the scene.
ARDOT reported just before 2:30 p.m. that at least one person has died as a result of the crash. Arkansas State Police reported an hour later that there were multiple fatalities at the scene and that troopers had not been able to account for everyone who may have been involved in the incident.
All westbound lanes of I-30 remained closed as of 7 p.m. ASP troopers were diverting westbound traffic off the interstate at Exit 91.
The crashes led to massive traffic backups on the interstate. ARDOT workers were using UTVs to deliver water and food to drivers stuck in the gridlock as crews continued to work to clear the scene.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.