PEMISCOT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Northbound Interstate 55 lanes are back open after being shut down for several hours at mile marker 28 in Pemiscot County, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation and Missouri Highway Patrol.
Trooper Clark Parrott with the Missouri State Highway Patrol says a vehicle was driving south in the northbound lanes when it hit a tractor-trailer head on just south of Portageville.
Troopers say the northbound Pontiac Grand Am reportedly lost control on the wet road.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the driver of the Peterbilt tractor-trailer, Jeffery Smith, 41, of Coulterville, Illinois, swerved into the median to avoid the Grand Am. The Grand Am ran off the road and was hit by the tractor-trailer in the median.
Parrott says the driver of the passenger vehicle, Glenn E. Bradsfield, 51, of Carbondale, was taken to Pemiscot Memorial Hospital in Hayti with minor injuries.
In other cases, how does someone end up going the wrong way on a highway?
Parrott said drivers are usually impaired by drugs or alcohol, distracted by something like a cell phone, or have a medical condition.
Trooper Parrott said most of the time they see reports of drivers going the wrong way on four lane highways, like U.S. 60 and U.S. 67.
He said drivers are on a side road, and pull up to the stop sign wanting to go left. Instead of crossing the divided highway to take a left, the driver takes an immediate left into oncoming traffic.
Parrott said it can be pretty difficult to go the wrong way on an Interstate.
"The interstates are so restricted with the access to get on them, there are no cross overs for the public to use, so you would almost have to be impaired or completely distracted to travel down an on ramp and then get on the interstate and head south bound on a north bound lane or vice versa," said Parrott.
You might assume drivers that go the wrong way are from out of town and don't know the area, but Parrott said that's usually not the case.
"No its usually local people, for whatever reason they're distracted possibly on a phone, texting, or maybe they're impaired and think they're to the cross over, to make a left hand turn and before they know it they're going east bound in a west bound lane," said Parrott.
If you're on a four lane highway, Parrott said it's important to pay attention so you turn into the correct lane of traffic.