I-70 WB on east side reopens after dump truck hits electronic message board


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A traffic nightmare occurred Friday morning on I-70 after a dump truck smashed into an electronic sign.

Thousands of drivers got stuck in traffic during the seven-hour closure that began around 7 a.m. 

It was more like a traffic migraine than a headache. Officials closed all westbound lanes near Emerson Avenue as they worked to remove the sign left above the road. Meanwhile, some drivers waited it out, others turned around and some avoided I-70 altogether. 

“It’s a nightmare everywhere … side streets, back roads. There is no perfect way to get to work,” Justin Conley said. 

Conley is the owner of Real Mann’s Tire Co. on Emerson Avenue right off of I-70, where he noticed many turned around. 

“It was pretty congested right here going this way. It was definitely pretty congested,” Conley said. 

The dump truck’s bed was raised. Witnesses told police it was raised completely.  Police said they believe it was not a malfunction of the truck but a driver error.  

“Different trucks have different heights, but I can assure you all these signs were well above a normal dump truck,” said Sgt. John Perrine of Indiana State Police. 

A second semi truck also sustained damage after it hit the sign before police closed the road. Indiana Department of Transportation crews needed two cranes to lift the sign from the roadway. 

After the morning rush hour and more than seven hours after the crash, authorities re-opened the road. 

“That’s the way I get home. That is definitely the way I get home. So, yes, I am glad it’s wrapped up,” Conley said.

According to state police, the driver could be cited. An investigation was underway. 

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