All lanes reopen on I-270 following Wednesday morning vehicle fi - KMOV.com

All lanes reopen on I-270 following Wednesday morning vehicle fire

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- All lanes of Interstate 270 has reopened after crews continue to work the scene of a vehicle fire on the highway. 

The highway was shutdown on both sides after a semi-truck crashed into a guardrail and then caught on fire on eastbound I-270, on the Chain of Rocks Bridge. The fire has since been extinguished, and the scene has been cleared. 

Illinois State Police said the vehicle fire was on the Illinois side of the bridge. 

ISP was at the scene, along with the Mitchell Fire Department. 

The vehicle fire caused a back-up on I-270 and MODOT was urging Missouri drivers driving on the eastbound lanes to seek alternate routes. 

MODOT said for Missouri drivers heading into Illinois, take Interstate 70 and cross the Poplar Street Bridge. 

For Illinois drivers heading into Missouri, IDOT advised taking Route 3, and using either the McKinley, the Poplar, or the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. 

The driver of the semi-truck has been identified as 53-year old Kevin Lemon.  He managed to escape the vehicle, and was transported to a local hospital, in stable condition with non life threatening injuries.

"You would think it would be a fatality or at least a very serious life threatening injury (based on the look of it) and it was not," Master Sergeant Jeff Snyder said. "We're very happy that's the case.  Crashes are going to occur.  We can't stop that from happening.  But we'd like to keep life threatening injuries from happening."

The Illinois State Police was unable to speak with Lemon before he was taken to the hospital and are still not sure why he crashed into the guardrail in the first place.  They are also unsure at this point how he was able to escape to safety.

News 4 will update this story as more information becomes available. 

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