NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The large plume of smoke above Interstate 26 seen from all over the Tri-County area Monday afternoon was caused by a trailer-towing issue, authorities say.
According to Senior Trooper Bridge Wyant with South Carolina Highway Patrol, a 54-year-old man was heading west towing a trailer from his 2000 Chevy pickup when the trailer became unhooked and the safety chains failed near mile marker 211.
Wyant said the loose trailer struck a 2012 Toyota SUV and hit a concrete median before traveling back across the interstate. As it careened back across, a 40-year-old man driving a van swerved to miss the trailer.
The van overturned and caught fire, but the driver was able to escape without any injuries.
The driver of the pickup, Robert Thomas of Moncks Corner, was cited with a towing violation in the incident, which happened around 2:30 p.m.
Traffic was delayed significantly for at least an hour.