Major pileup involving 18-wheeler shuts down I-45

HOUSTON—  A seven car pileup involving an 18-wheeler on I-45 left commuters stuck in traffic for hours Friday morning.

According to police, a vehicle tried to avoid hitting a pickup truck and caused a chain reaction, which led to the other accidents. An 18-wheeler hauling trash swerved to avoid the pileup, hit a cement barrier, flipped over and caught fire.

Burning trash from the 18-wheeler covered the freeway, leading to the closure of all southbound lanes.

The 18- wheeler driver was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Travelers flying out of Hobby Airport are being asked to find alternative routes.