A car that caught on fire was the cause of a blockage of southbound highway 72 traffic Friday night.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., a Lifestar Ambulance and Jacksonville Fire Department truck were both seen traveling on East Morton Avenue towards Exit 68 of Interstate 72 with emergency sirens and lights engaged. Traffic had not accumulated to a large stoppage point before Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputies and Jacksonville Firefighters were on-scene. The vehicle came to a rest just southbound of Exit 68 on I-72 at the nearest established emergency vehicle reversal point.
There were three individuals that were not in uniform and were apparently operating the vehicle that caught fire or were passengers. Morgan County Emergency Management Coordinator Phil McCarty was also on scene to lead emergency officials and direct traffic once a safe lane on the shoulder could be established. Traffic was halted for approximately 10-15 minutes, and approximately 40-50 vehicles were at a full stop and then carried through the redirected lane before traffic essentially cleared.
Additionally, a semi tractor trailer was also seen just farther up the road discussing some information with a sheriff’s deputy.
No additional information has been provided at this time by the Morgan County Sheriff’s department, though they are the agency of note in regards to this incident. A deputy of the Sheriff’s Department spoke for the agency and all agencies corroborating in this investigation in that there may be a full report available at the beginning of business hours Monday.