A crash involving a wrong-way driver believed to be impaired led to a shutdown of the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 in downtown Minneapolis early Tuesday, and the closure continued as the morning rush hour commenced.
Traffic backed up for nearly 2 miles at times until the lanes between Hwy. 280 and 7th Street reopened around 7 a.m. Motorists were diverted north on Hwy. 280 while the freeway was closed.
A driver going east in the westbound lanes collided with a box truck about 1:15 a.m. near the exits to Cedar Avenue and 7th Street. The crash caused the truck to burst into flames and leak diesel fuel on the roadway.
The truck driver, identified by the State Patrol as Abdinasir Mohamed, escaped from the truck before it started on fire, said State Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Tiffani Nielson.
Taylor Gilbert, the wrong-way driver, was injured and taken to HCMC in Minneapolis. A female passenger in his Ford Fusion also was taken toHCMC, Nielson said.
Gilbert was suspected of being impaired by alcohol, Nielson said.
Crews had to remove the vehicles and clean up the fuel spill before reopening the freeway.