A wreck on I-10 early Wednesday morning killed a trucker and damaged an overpass so badly ADOT and DPS closed I-10 westbound at the New Mexico border. That sent westbound drivers on a very long detour that ended in Benson.

The trouble started with a wreck just after midnight when a trucker hit pillars holding up an overpass where US 191 crosses I-10. That is the road that leads north to Safford.

But ADOT and DPS closed westbound I-10 back at the New Mexico border. That kept drivers well away from the weakened overpass but led them on a detour that swung all the way to Douglas on the Mexican border, then back up to rejoin I-10 in Benson.

Trucker Jimmy Goodson says Its crazy. It takes forever. It took me four and half hours. I think it was an 80 mile detour from Exit 5 to here. So, its crazy.

That detour led to bumper to bumper trucks and cars crawling through Benson, with drivers desperate for a truck stop.

Emma Ealem is another trucker who was nervously watching the fuel guage.

Going down through there, no fuel, no food stops, you have to be prepared. Craig: Were you getting tight on fuel? Yes, yes. Thats why were here and now were on line.

Drivers headed east hit delays too but nothing like the diversion through Douglas. They hit maybe 30 to 40 minute back ups when they had to exit at US 191, then re-enter just past the overpass.

Miguel Lopez and his son Chad are headed from California, home to Florida. Rather than sit stuck in traffic they decided to play tourist for awhile.

Miguel says Yeah, my son suggested going to Tombstone and visit it. We watched the movie and everything else about it so were going to go for a little detour and find out if it lightens up a little bit, the traffic.

As of mid day ADOT estimated about 48 hours of round the clock work would have the overpass repaired and I-10 ready to reopen westbound.



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