One dead in I-65 northbound accident near Walesboro, northbound lanes reopen

Interstate 65 northbound lanes near the Walesboro exit have reopened following a 1:20 p.m. accident that closed the interstate for more than an hour.

One driver has died in a two-vehicle accident in the northbound lanes of I-65 about two miles north of the Walesboro exit.

Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman, said the interstate’s northbound lanes are closed and traffic is being diverted off the interstate at State Road 58.

The accident happened at about 1:20 p.m. today at the 66 mile marker when two vehicles hydroplaned off the interstate in the rainy conditions, Harris said. Thomas F. Pickett, 53, Brownstown, was pronounced dead at the scene, Harris said.

Pickett was driving a 2004 GMC Sierra truck which flipped on its top into a ditch full of water, Harris said. Several motorists passing by stopped and were able to flip the truck back over before police arrived, Harris said, although that took several minutes.

The occupants of the other vehicle, a passenger car, were not injured, Harris said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.