ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police reopen interstate at 12:52 p.m.
9:35am — Police ID Injured in I-25 Crash: Driver of big rig tells police he didn't see emergency lights.
The driver of a tractor-trailer rig that crashed into a barricade truck, setting off a chain reaction of crashes involving two Public Service Company of New Mexico vehicles, has been identified as 63-year-old Ezequial Konig, Albuquerque police spokeswoman Trish Hoffman told ABQjournal.com.
Although earlier reports said Konig may have fallen asleep at the wheel, Hoffman said the driver told police that he didn't see the flashing emergency lights as he approached the PNM crews working on southbound Interstate 25 near the Sunport exit.
A passenger in the truck, who still hasn't been identified, also was hospitalized with injuries, as were 29-year-old Paul Chavez, who was in the safety barricade truck, and David Zamora, who is in his 50s, who was up on PNM's bucket truck's so-called cherry picker and suffered a broken ankle and other injuries, Hoffman said.
All are expected to be listed in stable condition, said Hoffman, who said an investigation into the exact cause of the crash is continuing. Blood tests have been taken from the semi-truck driver, she said.
A PNM cherry picker is seen at the scene of the crash on I 25 just south of the Sunport exit this morning after being hit by a truck around 4:15 am. The two PNM workers were changing lightbulbs on the freeway. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)
9:05am UPDATE: No identifications have been released yet on the four people injured in this morning's collision at Interstate 25 near Sunport, but Public Service Company of New Mexico spokesman Jeff Buell said the PNM worker who was on a bucket truck servincing a street light is now in stable condition.
Buell said three trucks were on southbound I-25 early this morning doing repairs to street lights along the highway, when it's normally safer and less distracted by traffic to work, when a southbound 18-wheeler plowed into a barricade truck on contract from Advantage Safety.
The barricade truck, which has large flashing lights to direct oncoming drivers into left-hand lanes, was struck so violently that it plowed into a secondary vehicle about 200 feet away, which in turn struck the bucket truck, Buell told ABQjournal.com.
The contract driver in the barricade vehicle that was struck first was injured, and the semi-truck driver and a passenger in the tractor-trailer also were reportedly injured and taken to the hospital. But their names and conditions still haven't been released.
8:05am UPDATE: Crash cleanup continues on southbound Interstate 25 near Sunport in the wake of this morning's 18-wheeler crash that crushed three Public Service Company of New Mexico vehicles, left tons of debris littering the roadway, including an uprooted tree, and sent four people to the hospital, according to 770 KKOB Radio.
Two PNM workers remain in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital, and two others — the semi-truck driver, who speaks only Spanish, and a passenger in the truck — are hospitalized in stable condition, KKOB reported.
Meanwhile, northbound traffic is crawling in KKOB's traffic reporter Helen Wheels calls a "sympathy slowdown."
5:55am UPDATE: Southbound traffic on Interstate 25 is being diverted at Sunport because of an early-morning crash involving a tractor-trailer that reportedly struck a PNM cherry picker working on a roadside light and caused a chain-reaction collision involving two other PNM vehicles, KOB-TV is reporting.
Two PNM employees — one driver and a worker — are reported to be in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital, according to Eyewitness News 4.
Traffic is likely to be affected all morning, at least through the morning commute, according to 770 KKOB Radio traffic reporter Helen Wheels, who suggests southbound commuters find an alternate route. There's construction that's likely to create a backup on Broadway (N.M. 47), so Wheels suggests using University.
5:23am — Southbound I-25 Closed Near Sunport: Early-morning crash leaves semi-truck rolled over; PNM workers seriously injured.
A rollover crash around 4:15 this morning has closed all southbound lanes of Interstate 25 near the Sunport exit at this hour, KOB-TV is reporting.A collision between a tractor-trailer and a Public Service Company of New Mexico vehicle has resulted in serious injuries to two PNM workers, according to Eyewitness News 4.