Tractor-trailer ignites on Speers-Belle Vernon Bridge

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State police said no injuries occurred Monday evening when a tractor-trailer travelling eastbound on Interstate 70 caught on fire in the Mon Valley.


The vehicle, driven by Mark Heidenreich, 52, of Indiana state, blew a tire about 5 p.m. and crashed into the barrier along the pedestrian walkway on the Speers-Belle Vernon Bridge over the Monongahela River. The tractor-trailer was hauling concrete slabs on a flatbed.


The accident, fire and removal of debris caused major tie-ups and slow-moving traffic in the area. Motorists sought alternate routes, including state Route 136 and state Route 906 across the Charleroi-Monessen Bridge. Police said one of two eastbound lanes was still closed in the area at 8:20 p.m. Monday.


Volunteer firefighters from Charleroi, Belle Vernon, Fallowfield Township, Rostraver Central and Stockdale departments responded to the blaze. Additional fire departments, including Bentleyville, California and Washington Township, were called for water tanker units.


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