Part of I-70 near Boonville closed because of accident

Saturday, December 21, 2002

BOONVILLE, Mo. -- Cross-state traffic was disrupted Friday in Missouri after separate truck and train accidents closed portions of a main highway and railroad between St. Louis and Kansas City.

Both accidents happened near Boonville, a Missouri River community in the center of the state.

A westbound stretch of Interstate 70 was closed after an 8:15 a.m. accident involving a tractor-trailer truck caused significant damage to the support columns of an overpass. The state highway patrol said the truck driver, Eugene White, 50, of Albany, Ga., was killed in the accident.

Big trucks were being detoured about 20 miles onto U.S. 40 at Midway, which takes them through Boonville before rejoining I-70. Cars were being detoured about 5 miles over Highway 98 and Highway 87. Motorists were experiencing significant delays, the transportation department said.

The interstate is the most heavily traveled highway in Missouri. Both lanes of eastbound I-70 remained open.

Inspectors from the Missouri Department of Transportation were assessing the damage Friday. The road tentatively was scheduled to open Sunday afternoon, said Dail Alexander, a maintenance supervisor for the transportation department who was answering calls about the I-70 closure Friday evening.

Meanwhile, one of the two railroad tracks between Kansas City and the capital of Jefferson City remained closed Friday after a coal train derailed Thursday evening on Union Pacific tracks.

The accident happened near Lamine, a small town just west of Boonville and just off of I-70. Transportation officials said there was no connection between the accidents.

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