Clean up of Highway 56 after a train derailment in south Augusta could take another full day. The train derailed after being hit by a tractor-trailer on Tuesday afternoon.
Investigator Michael McDaniel, with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, tells us an 18-wheeler was traveling southbound on Mike Padgett Highway (Highway 56) and the driver somehow lost control of the vehicle and struck the train.
In total, more than 20 train cars (empty) derailed. One of the derailed cars struck a pickup truck, causing the pickup to leave the roadway.
The driver of the 18-wheeler and the pickup truck were both sent to the hospital.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Norfolk Southern, Georgia State Patrol, and Burke County Sheriff's Office are the investigating agencies looking into the crash.
There are hazardous chemicals in cars at the end of the train. However, no chemicals or waste spilled during the accident.
According to the Augusta Fire Department's Emergency Management Division, Mike Padgett Highway will be closed at the county line will be closed at least 48 hours due to the crash.
"It's gonna be about at the minimum 48 hours before any traffic can be on this roadway. We're going to be detouring all traffic on Highway 56 up Hephzibah-McBean Road, back over to [Highway] 25, to get into Burke County. We're also working with Burke County on that side. Any traffic coming on 56 is going to have to come on the bypass in Waynesboro," says Lieutenant Ramone Lampkin, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
A detour has been setup as southbound Highway 56 will go to Hephzibah-McBean Road to Highway 25. Northbound Highway 56 is being detoured at the bypass in Waynesboro. Burke County Dispatch confirms they are also routing traffic through Old Waynesboro Road to Augusta.
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