Big Rig Crash Ties Up Traffic on I-80 in Sparks

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SPARKS, Nev. -- A big-rig accident on Interstate 80 tied up traffic in Sparks for hours on Saturday.

It happened just after 11am in the east-bound lanes near Pyramid Highway. A Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) sergeant says the roadway was wet when a passenger car changed lanes in front of the big rig. The truck driver applied the brakes in order to avoid hitting the car. That's when the truck started to spin. It hit the barrier on the right side of the road then spun toward the center divider and hit the barrier so hard the Jersey wall (cement barrier) moved about ten feet.

The truck driver was taken to the hospital complaining of chest pain and numbness but nothing life-threatening. Despite having a trailer attached, the truck was not carrying anything inside. The NHP sergeant says if the truck had been full, the accident would have been much worse.

Diesel fuel and oil spilled onto the roadway. The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is cleaning up the spill, so some lanes will be closed well into the afternoon.

The crash also snapped a conduit that was inside the center divider, so until crews can repair the line, the street lights on that part of the freeway will be dark. Drivers should be extra careful at night on that stretch of the freeway.

NHP personnel also want to remind drivers that with the winter weather, roadways will be wet and slick. They encourage all drivers to plan extra time for travel, leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you, never cut closely in front of a vehicle, and when you have to brake, brake slowly.