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I-45 North reopens after fiery 7-vehicle crash early Friday

The freeway has since fully reopened.

HOUSTON -- An 18-wheeler crash on the southbound lanes of Interstate 45 caused a massive fire with multiple traffic lanes shutting down.

The crash happened shortly after 5 a.m. Friday south of West Road. The freeway did not fully reopen until early afternoon.

Police say several vehicles were involved in a crash initiated by a pickup truck's blown tire. A suspected drunken driver then crashed into the first five vehicles involved.

The big rig driver was behind the pileup, and the driver swerved to avoid the crash but then flipped, and his rig burst into flames. The truck's owners say the vehicle was carrying a load of trash.

The 18-wheeler driver was able to escape and no fatalities or critical injuries have been reported from the crash.