Beltway lanes reopened after truck overturns

With the clock ticking toward Thursday afternoon rush hour, state crews raced to right a tractor-trailer truck and clear the debris that closed all four lanes of the inner loop of Interstate 695 near U.S. 1.

The truck was drained of fuel and hitched to a tow truck, and all lanes were open just 2 1/2 hours after the accident happened, the State Highway Administration said.

The flat-bed truck, hauling pipes and lumber, tipped over and landed on the driver's side at 12:48 p.m., according to State Police spokesman Greg Shipley. A preliminary investigation indicated that the truck may have been going too fast as it entered the inner loop from the Washington Boulevard eastbound ramp, he said.

The truck and its load spread diagonally across the entire road, from the ramp to the median barrier. No one was injured.

At one point, inner loop traffic backed up to I-97 and rubbernecking on the outer loop slowed traffic, SHA spokesman David Buck said.

Two SHA front-end loaders cleared the debris and the Maryland Department of the Environment supervised the off-loading of the truck's fuel.

"It's something that comes into our thinking as we get toward rush hour — getting as much open as we can," said Buck of the clean-up strategy. "If it's a hazardous materials accident or there are injuries, obviously we can't do it. But everything worked out today."

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