Burning fuel on I-75 under 9 Mile Road
A 2004 Honda Civic apparently lost control on northbound I-75 in suburban Detroit on July 15th. The car hit a semi between the cab and its tanker trailer, breaking the trailer loose. With 14,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel, the tanker erupted. Flames reached 150 feet into the sky. Another semi carrying produce was able to avoid the original collision but was caught in the inferno.
Immediately following the accident, other drivers went right on through the burning flames. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. The east half of the 9 Mile overpass eventually collapsed as a result of the intense heat. As a result, I-75 was closed in both directions from I-696 to 8 Mile Road. Nine Mile is also closed, obviously, at the I-75 service drives. The service drives are closed as well during the clean-up. Southbound I-75 reopened today; the northbound side may reopen late Monday. As for the 9 Mile bridge—not before November or December.
MDOT spent $78,000 to demolish the 9 Mile span over I-75 south and clean up the debris. Repaving I-75’s damaged roadway is costing another $90,000. Replacing the 9 Mile bridge, which had just been re-built last year, will cost $2 million. Total expense, which MDOT hopes to get reimbursed from insurance companies: $2,168,000.
State Police look at Haidarian-Shahri’s burned out Civic
Brian Kaufman, Detroit Free Press
State Police and National Transportation Safety Board officials are investigating. There have been no citations pending the outcome of the investigations. Saied Haidarian-Shahri, who caused the accident, was apparently going about 70 MPH on the S-curve before the bridge. Although that’s the speed limit, the curve carries a 50 MPH advisory speed.
Saied Haidarian-Shahri (from his WSU web page)
The 27-year-old Iranian-born PhD student has only had his license since May. Haidarian-Shahri offered no apologies, saying “I don’t think I made a mistake”. So, let me see. He lost control, hit a fuel hauler that crashed and burned, destroyed a major surface street bridge, and closed one of metro Detroit’s key north-south arteries for as much as a week or more. I’d hate to see the outcome of what he considers a mistake!