A tractor-trailer carrying alcoholic beverages burst into flames after striking a column supporting an interstate overpass Thursday morning.
A tractor-trailer carrying alcoholic beverages burst into flames after striking a column supporting an interstate overpass Thursday morning.

Archived Story

Highway 31, two I-65 lanes re-opened following wreck (updated)

Published 8:23am Thursday, June 27, 2013

All northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 65, plus the bridge overpass, were closed following a wreck early Thursday morning.

Highway 31 was re-opened about 10:45 a.m. Both outside lanes on the interstate were also re-opened Thursday morning.

A tractor-trailer hauling bottles of alcoholic beverages apparently struck one of the columns supporting the overpass in the median and caught fire, officials said.

Bottles were strewn across all I-65 lanes, halting traffic, and the overpass was closed until state inspectors could make a decision about the bridge’s structural integrity, Clanton Fire Chief David Driver said.

Extensive clean-up was needed after the wreck scattered broken bottles across all four lanes Interstate 65.
Extensive clean-up was needed after the wreck scattered broken bottles across all four lanes Interstate 65.

The driver of the truck was transported to UAB Hospital but was in stable condition, Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said. No other vehicles were involved in the wreck, which occurred at 5:19 a.m.

The driver, who was the lone occupant of the truck, had exited the vehicle by the time emergency personnel arrived, Driver said.

Clanton Fire Department and RPS Ambulance staff rendered medical aid to the driver, while firefighters also began extinguishing the fire. The blaze was brought under control in about 30 minutes, Driver said.

The Verbena Fire Department responded to the scene with a tanker truck to provide additional water to battle the fire.

Chilton County Emergency Management Agency was called to inspect a fuel spill. Air Evac and Life Saver helicopters were requested but could not respond due to inclement weather.

“Fortunately no other vehicles were involved and the driver was able to get out of the truck under his own power,” Driver said in a release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the truck driver and his family; we hope and pray he makes a full recovery.”

In addition to the agencies listed, Chilton County Sheriff’s Department and Alabama State Troopers also responsed to the scene.

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