This morning, an accident involving a van and an SUV towing a boat shut down part of South Loop 289 between Slide Rd and Quaker Ave. Although the accident happened around 4:00 a.m. the clean-up after the accident took over four hours, causing a massive traffic jam during the morning commute.

I live in North Lubbock, so every morning on my way to the station, I just take Loop 289 to the south side of town. It is usually a quick and easy trip, but this morning was different. Before leaving my apartment, I got a text from my partner about an accident he heard about involving a boat, but I figured everything would be cleared by the time I actually left for work. It was all fine until I was approaching the exit to 34th St.

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At this point, there was a noticeable backup of cars, but things were still moving, so I figured they only had one lane closed and traffic was still moving. When I see traffic like that, I typically try and take the nearest off-ramp and just take surface streets the rest of the way, but I was in the far-left lane, and things seemed to be moving enough that I kept going. As the left lane kept a pretty solid flow of traffic, I kept on going until I noticed how little the right lanes were moving. I figured they just had the right lane and maybe the off-ramp closed, and that’s why the left lane was still moving pretty well.

However, after passing the off-ramp you would take to the Marsha Sharp, traffic completely stopped altogether. In the five years I’ve lived in Lubbock, I have never been stuck in stand-still traffic like this. All three lanes, including the ramp of on-coming traffic, were completely stopped. Once things slowly started moving again, I saw that there were barricades forcing everyone off at the Slide Rd exit.

Everyone was pretty courteous and let people merge so we could all get off and get to where we needed to go. I was easily able to take surface streets the rest of the way to the station, but I still found the situation odd. I was stuck in that traffic from around 8:05-8:10 a.m., and the accident happened over four hours prior to me leaving my apartment. It wasn’t until I looked up the accident once I got to work and saw the boat that was on its side on the road that I realized why it took so long.

I will say, according to some reports, the police claim the roads were opened back up before 8:00 this morning, but they were definitely still there when I drove past them after 8:00. I hope that the two people injured in the accident are okay and make a speedy recovery.

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