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Traffic

    A tractor-trailer hauling 5,500 gallons of printer ink overturned Wednesday on the Westside Perimeter, spilling its cargo onto the interstate and causing delays for the first half of the morning drive. All lanes of the I-285 outer loop were shut down for several hours after the big rig overturned before Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Southbound traffic was diverted onto Hollowell Parkway, and the ramps from I-20 to I-285 South were also shut down, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.  Atlanta police said there was a “large amount of ink spilled on the roadway” when they responded to the wreck around 2 a.m. “The driver of the overturned vehicle advised that he was attempting to avoid another vehicle when he lost control of the tractor-trailer, which flipped onto its side,” police spokesman Officer Jarius Daugherty said.  No one was injured, and the crash remains under investigation. » PHOTOS | Weird things that have snarled Atlanta traffic Fire crews that responded to the scene spread dirt and sand to absorb the mess.  While the interstate has reopened and traffic has since recovered, a large ink stain remains. There are no longer delays associated with the crash, according to the Traffic Center.  — Please return to AJC.com for updates.  In other news: 
  • A pedestrian was hit by a pickup truck and killed on a major Clayton County highway early Tuesday morning. The man was trying to cross Tara Boulevard around 6 a.m. when he was struck by the southbound truck, according to Jonesboro police. Not realizing what the truck hit, its driver pulled over to the side of the road.  A Jonesboro officer saw the truck stop, went to investigate and discovered the man’s body, police said. He has not been identified, according to police.  The investigation shut down all southbound lanes of Tara Boulevard near Ga. 54 and Flint River Road for nearly three hours. The road was reopened at 9:15 a.m., according to the Clayton County sheriff’s office.  — Please return to AJC.com for updates.  » For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.  In other news: 
  • Police identified the two people killed Tuesday morning after a wrong-way driver crashed into a truck during a chase. Adolphus Knight, 19, of Riverdale, and Kalif Patterson, 38, of Dalzell, S.C., were both killed and one passenger was taken to the hospital. The crash was the result of a pursuit over a stolen car, police said.  A Mazda SUV was taken from a Chamblee BP gas station Monday night, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Henry County police said the car was tracked in the McDonough area by a global positioning system.  Officers spotted the car in the parking lot of a hotel off Mill Road and tried to stop it, police spokesman Capt. Joey Smith said in a statement. When the driver of the Mazda —who authorities identified as Knight — hit the driver’s door of an officer’s car, a chase began.  Officers were pursuing Knight on I-75 North about 2 a.m. when the vehicle exited the interstate at Jodeco Road, turned around, re-entered I-75 North going the wrong direction and hit a Ford F-150 head-on, the Georgia State Patrol said. Patterson was driving the Ford and died at the scene, the GSP said. Knight died while being transported from Piedmont Henry Hospital to Grady Memorial Hospital. A passenger in the Mazda was also taken to Grady. His condition is unknown, Smith said. According to Channel 2, at least one of the vehicles burst into flames. The blaze was so intense that part of a barrier wall was melted, the news station reported.  The crash shut down the northbound lanes of the interstate at Jodeco Road for nearly four hours, causing miles of bumper-to-bumper delays through the Southside. During the height of the lane closures, backups stretched more than six miles. I-75 North reopened just after 7 a.m. In other news:
  • Police activity shut down Ga. 400 South in Alpharetta for hours Wednesday morning. All southbound lanes were blocked about 6:30 a.m., when Alpharetta police started working a situation at the Haynes Bridge Road exit sign.  About two hours later, authorities turned southbound traffic around.  Lanes reopened just before 8:40 a.m., when police announced a safe resolution to the activity that prompted the shutdown.  » For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.  In other news: 
  • A pedestrian was hit by at least one vehicle Wednesday morning, shutting down I-285 West near Spaghetti Junction and leading to hours of delays in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. The WSB 24-hour Traffic Center first reported road closures around 5 a.m. There were major delays on I-285 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard until just before 8:30 a.m., when the interstate reopened. The Traffic Center reported delays on I-85 in from Gwinnett County, too.  At one point, the trip time from I-20 to I-85 on the Eastside was a slow 66 minutes. According to DeKalb police, no one is in custody in connection with the pedestrian crash. “When officers arrived they found the body (of) an individual on the interstate,” police spokesman Sgt. J.D. Spencer said. “The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. Investigators are working to determine exactly what happened.” — Please return to AJC.com for updates.  » For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.  In other news: 
  • About 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken were roasted when a tractor-trailer caught fire on I-285 in Cobb County Tuesday morning, shutting down multiple southbound lanes of the interstate and causing hours of delays.  The cases of frozen chicken were being transported from Georgia to California when the fire started near South Cobb Drive around 3:45 a.m., Channel 2 Action News reported.   Traffic was reduced to one lane for several hours while crews worked to put out the fire and clear the charred wreckage from the interstate, causing about a mile of early backups on the outer loop, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. Three left lanes reopened at 5:45 a.m. The rest of the interstate reopened nearly an hour later. The truck’s driver, Micesh Kamal, told Channel 2 Action News he pulled over to the side of the interstate when he saw smoke and opened the back of the truck. There were flames in every direction, Kamal said. “When I see the fire, I pick up the fire extinguisher,” he told the news station. “The fire, the flames are large.” RELATED: Weird things that have snarled Atlanta traffic He ultimately waited for help from authorities to put out the blaze, which he assumes was sparked by malfunctioning brakes. Kamal said he feels pretty lucky he was not injured. Cleanup did not impact the ride on the inner loop, traffic reporter Mark Arum said.  “If there is any good news with this situation, this big rig fire is the non-rush hour direction,” he said. “This time of the morning, most folks are heading northbound on I-285, not southbound.” There are still partial lane restrictions on the ramp to South Cobb Drive at 8 a.m., according to the Traffic Center. Traffic on the travel lanes of interstate is not affected.  » For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter. —Please return to AJC.com for updates. 
  • A 48-year-old woman was killed Sunday afternoon when two cars collided at a busy intersection in South Fulton.  The vehicles were traveling in opposite directions on Campbellton Road, according to South Fulton police Lt. Derrick Rogers. They crashed at the Camp Creek Parkway intersection.  The woman, identified as Candice Prater by Channel 2 Action News, died at the scene. She was a married mother of four, the news station reported. The condition of the other driver was not released. Francine Samuels lives in the area and told Channel 2 Action News the traffic signal at the intersection has not been working. “This light has been blinking almost a week,' Samuels said. 'You (are) supposed to stop when the light is out, and this is what people do not do, but there’s a high volume of traffic. ... All the time, accidents happen right here.'  Samuels said traffic through the area has been a nightmare. She often sees drivers speeding through the intersection. “Even with the light (functioning), you still have accidents,” she said. The signal was back to normal Sunday evening, Channel 2 reported. City officials have not confirmed if it was malfunctioning at the time of the crash. The collision took out a crosswalk pole and spread debris through the intersection, according to the news station. Traffic on Campbellton Road was backed up for at least a mile while police were on scene investigating. No other details about the collision were released.
  • About 40,000 pounds of broccoli on the side of a metro Atlanta freeway Monday morning may not ever make it to a dinner plate. That’s good news for picky youngsters, but it caused trouble for drivers through Clayton County overnight. A tractor-trailer hauling the frozen vegetables overturned on the ramp from I-285 to I-75, shutting down the ramp, Channel 2 Action News reported.  PHOTOS: Weird things that have snarled Atlanta traffic Clayton County police said on Monday it appears only the tractor-trailer was involved in the accident. Police did not have any information on the condition of the driver.  While the ramp reopened by 6:30 a.m., cleanup efforts were still underway at 11 a.m., according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. Crews were working to extricate the boxes of broccoli before they removed the wrecked big rig. In other news: 
  • A police chase through Gwinnett County ended in a fiery crash into a utility pole early Friday, setting a gas main ablaze and cutting power along a busy highway in Lawrenceville.  Grayson Highway at Simonton Road was shut down for nearly six hours while authorities worked to get the fire under control. While power was restored by 6 a.m., the car was on fire until about 8:30 a.m., when utility crews shut off the gas that was feeding the flames.  The road reopened shortly after, according to police.  Officers started chasing the driver, who was wanted for violating his probation and failure to appear, about 3:20 a.m., Lawrenceville police Lt. Jake Parker told AJC.com.  The car left the roadway, crashed into a power pole and ruptured a gas main.  “The driver tried to bail on foot,” Parker said. “He didn’t make it very far and was apprehended.” Nashawn Wiggins, 24, of Lawrenceville, was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and released into police custody. He was being held in the Gwinnett County jail Friday afternoon on charges of reckless driving and fleeing or attempting to elude an officer. He was also cited for broken tail lights, jail records show.  Gwinnett fire spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said the threat of escaping gas vapors complicated firefighting efforts. At the height of the blaze, flames shot 30 to 40 feet into the air. “The decision was made to allow the fire to burn until the gas company was able to stop the leak,” Rutledge said in an email.  Lawrenceville Gas workers had to dig in multiple locations to stop the leak, he said. Fire crews used a hose line to protect the gas company workers and prevent the fire from spreading. No one was evacuated, and no injuries were reported as a result of the fire.  While Grayson Highway was closed, drivers were forced onto Scenic Highway and Gwinnett Drive.  » For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.  In other news: 
  • Ten “very large explosions” sent thick smoke into the air in front of Emory University Hospital Midtown and shut down major streets during the height of the Wednesday morning commute. Atlanta Fire Rescue spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford said rainwater runoff caused an underground transformer to explode in the area of 550 Peachtree Street.  No one was injured in the explosions and there was no apparent damage to the hospital, he said. When firefighters arrived about 8 a.m., Stafford said the breakers on Wabash Avenue had already tripped. “That cut the power that was going to those transformers, which in turn put the fire out and caused the explosions to cease,” he said. The smoke eventually dissipated. Authorities closed a major block of Peachtree Street while they investigated. Linden Avenue was also blocked between Courtland and West Peachtree streets. Linden was reopened to traffic about 10:15 a.m. All but one southbound lane of Peachtree Street was reopened by 4 p.m., but authorities closed the road again on Thursday to continue repairs, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. Peachtree was shut down in both directions Thursday morning between Linden Avenue and Pine Street, but reopened all but one lane shortly after noon. AJC.com readers tweeted videos from the scene showing a series of quick, loud pops and flashes of light coming from grates under the sidewalk near the hospital. According to Georgia Power, those grates are intended to ventilate the underground area where the transformer is housed.  When things quieted down, thick plumes of smoke were seen rising several stories into the air over Peachtree Street. John Kraft, a spokesman for Georgia Power, said it appears the issue was isolated to a single transformer.  Initially, officials said two or three manholes were “blown off” from the power of the explosion.  “After further investigation and speaking with Georgia Power representatives, we can confirm that no manhole covers were ‘blown off’ as initial reports from 911 calls indicated,” Stafford said in a statement posted to Twitter about 12:40 p.m. The hospital operated on backup power for a time, officials with Emory Healthcare told AJC.com. Power has since been restored to the hospital.  “There were no injuries and patient care continues at the hospital as normal,” spokeswoman Janet Christenbury said in a statement. “No evacuations were necessary, but some patients were moved within a care unit to ensure their safety.” Georgia Power crews are still on the scene investigating and making repairs.  — Staff writer Amanda C. Coyne contributed to this article.