Multiple accidents close two left lanes of I26 East

(Sandra Ecklund/WCIV)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Commuters had to add at least an hour to their normal drive on I-26 Thursday morning after three accidents briefly closed two of the four eastbound lanes.

The last accident to happen was just after the 210 mile marker. A white SUV rear-ended another vehicle as they were trying to get through the gridlock that happened behind the previous two wrecks.

The second incident also involved two cars and was a bit more serious. It was only a fire truck's length away from the rear-ending and blocked the far left lane. A white truck rear ended a silver car so hard the trunk of the car was barely visible.

The first accident to happen was not much further up the road and was almost cleared just after 7 a.m. Only one vehicle, a black SUV, was still in the left lane as crews waited for a tow truck.

All three North Charleston accidents caused traffic to back up all the way into the Summerville and Ladson area.

The last accident to happen cleared to the shoulder relatively quickly as both cars were drivable but the damage was done. Drivers trying to get to the downtown area or 526 were stuck and then other fender benders started to happen.

Over 10 miles north on I-26 at Highway 17 another accident kept South Carolina Highway Patrol deputies busy just after 8 a.m. while more commuters clogged the roadway. There was some fog in the area which did not help the situation and may have contributed to the incident.

As drivers waited to get onto the highway, accidents started happening on secondary roads as well.

Charleston COunty Consolidated Dispatch officials reported accidents on Aviation Avenue in North Charleston and College Park Road in Goose Creek.

Dispatch operators also confirmed that Berkeley County Fire and Rescue crews were responding to an emergency at mile marker 201 eastbound just after 9 a.m. A pregnant woman's water broke while she was sitting in traffic.

All lanes of I-26 east were finally cleared of congestion after 9:30 a.m.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.