afternoon wreck

    Afternoon traffic was snarled in both lanes of Interstate 20/59 on Thursday after two separate accidents involving tractor trailers.

    At about 3:30 p.m., a big rig carrying paper rolls swerved, jackknifed and spilled into the median. Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Andy West said the driver, Clayton Beddington of Alabama, was taken to a Meridian hospital with minor injuries. About 30 minutes later another 18-wheeler — this one carrying bed sheets — struck a BMW from behind which had slowed due to the wreck, said Joey Hand, the volunteer fire coordinator for Newton County. That accident sent that big rig tumbling into the median as well, officials said. Both accidents happened near the Hickory exit at mile marker 116.

    Brian Davis, who was asleep in the sleeper compartment of the second 18-wheeler accident, was taken to a Newton hospital with minor injuries, West said.

    "Both of the semis and car were in the median," Hand said. "The trucks were not hauling any hazardous materials so that was good."

    The accident brought rush hour traffic in both the east and westbound lanes to a crawl for more than two hours. Traffic on both sides was limited to one lane near the accidents.

    West said both accidents are under investigation.

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