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Truck strikes mowing tractor on I-20, traffic delayed for hours

By Nick Bradshaw, KTXS Photographer, nbradshaw@ktxs.com
Elizabeth Weiss, Crime/Courts Reporter, eweiss@ktxs.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:12:00 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2014 01:16:49 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Eastbound I-20 was shut down in vicinity of the West Lake Road overpass before noon Wednesday after an 18-wheeler collided with a mower.

As of 12:45 p.m., traffic was still backed up for several miles.

The Abilene Fire Department responded to the accident around 11 Wednesday morning.

No one was injured in the crash, which Abilene Police Department officials said was surprising.

According to police, a state-hired mower was moving down the hill when the mower lost power and wasn’t able to stop or turn.

Meanwhile, the 18-wheeler was heading eastbound on I-20 in the right lane when the driver spotted the mower, slammed on the brakes and tried to avoid it. The 18-wheeler hit the mower on the back blade.

Bernice Smith, the driver of the 18-wheeler, is from Minnesota and was traveling from El Paso.

“And I just started applying brakes to slow down, figuring he knew where he was going, turning around or whatever and I just jammed on the brakes, when I knew he wasn’t moving out of the way,” she said.

According to authorities, a large amount of diesel fuel spilled and TxDot finished cleaning the roads around 2:45 Wednesday.

No citations will be issued because of the circumstances, but an investigation is ongoing, according to Abilene police.