Wrong-way driver crashed into 9 barriers before head-on wreck on I-75

A wrong-way driver shut down the South Metro Express Lanes Friday morning after crashing head-on near the I-75/I-675 interchange. (John Spink/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

ATLANTA — The I-75 express lanes are shut down in Henry County after someone entered the reversible toll lane system going the wrong way.

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The driver of a small sedan was trying to head southbound when the lanes were flowing north for the Friday morning commute and crashed head-on into another vehicle, according to Henry County police. That vehicle was hit from behind by a third northbound vehicle.

Officers were called to the scene of the wreck, near mile marker 226 in Stockbridge, about 6:15 a.m. Henry County police spokesman Sgt. John Davis said preliminary findings suggest the driver of the sedan may have been intoxicated. However, that has not been confirmed.

The sedan went through eight warning stop arms and one large metal barrier gate before entering wrong-way traffic, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

All three drivers were taken to area hospitals for treatment. The extent of their injuries was not known Friday morning, Davis said. The lanes remain shut down while traffic investigators are at the scene, he said.

Traffic reporter Mark Arum said the wrong-way crash was "something that I don't believe has ever happened before in the express lanes" since they opened in Henry County in 2017.

In addition to the express lanes, the crash is blocking one left lane on both sides of I-75 at I-675 near Stockbridge. Northbound delays start back at Bill Gardner Parkway in Locust Grove, and southbound traffic is stacked up for miles before the wreck, the Traffic Center reported.

Just after 8 a.m., authorities started turning traffic on the express lanes around.

GDOT expects the lanes will remain closed through the morning and will not reopen until about 1 p.m.