A traffic accident closed the Pensacola Bay Bridge going toward Gulf Breeze for an hour on Sunday from about 5:45 p.m.
Pensacola Police Department officers were still taking reports on the mishap, which apparently involved a police cruiser and a tow truck, well after 8 p.m. Sunday. No serious injuries were reported.
Unofficial descriptions of what caused the snarl came from drivers who were stuck. Drivers said at least two separate accidents occurred just east of the bridge's center hump, when a truck rear-ended a car. According to one account, a tow truck enroute to clear the accident scene was bumped by another car and forced into a collision with a Pensacola Police Department vehicle.
Police blocked traffic and turned away hundreds of cars at the gateway intersection of Bayfront Parkway and East Chase Street on Sunday. Some drivers headed for the long detour that utilizes Interstate Highways 110 and 10 before eventually reaching Gulf Breeze far to the east near Navarre. But many found parking spots in Pensacola's gateway area and waited out the delay.
Motorists with a long history of crossing the water on U.S. 98 East said they'd seen worse jams, but then, the one you're in at the moment always seems to hold unparalleled frustration.
"It's hot, and I'm tired," said Ila Crawford, a retireee who is a 40-year resident of Gulf Breeze.
Source: Pensacola News Journal, "Crash causes traffic snarl on Pensacola Bay Bridge", May 20, 2012
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