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Lanes reopened after I-70 crash

Both lanes of eastbound Interstate 70 west of Columbia had reopened by about 10:30 a.m., but traffic was backed up for at least 7 miles at that time.

The road was closed starting at about 7:30 a.m. when a tractor-trailer hauling car batteries rear-ended slowed traffic at mile marker 122. Another crash was reported later at mile marker 121 though that crash did not appear to have a significant impact on traffic.

Authorities had to clear a pallet of batteries before opening up the second eastbound lane after the initial crash that closed the road, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, who the Missouri State Highway Patrol later identified as Joseph C. Garrett, 55, of Bennett Springs, Arkansas, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after the three-vehicle crash that caused the truck to flip off of Interstate 70 at mile marker 122. No one else was injured.

According to the crash report, the tractor-trailer was approaching slowed traffic. The driver of a vehicle in front of the tractor-trailer saw the truck approaching in her rearview mirror and swerved into the right lane to avoid the collision, the crash report said. The tractor-trailer hit the rear end of the vehicle, went off of the road, overcorrected and came back on the road, hitting the front of a third vehicle in the process. The tractor-trailer then overturned, blocking both lanes of eastbound traffic. The tractor-trailer and one of the passenger vehicles were totaled. The third vehicle had minor damage.

Boone County Fire officials said the truck was hauling car batteries, which were leaking onto the roadway. Boone County Fire and Missouri State Highway Patrol were on the scene. Crews were working to remove the truck from the road at 8:30 Friday morning, and the Department of Natural Resources will be on the scene later to evaluate the car batteries.

This marks the third crash on I-70 in Boone County involving a tractor-trailer in three days.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is available.

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