Semi leaks fuel, catches fire on I-75 exit ramp

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Plumes of black smoke rise from a semi that caught fire in a single-vehicle crash on Exit 18 near Interstate 75 South. No injuries were reported in the accident on Tuesday, June 21. Photo provided by Facebook user Stephenie Denise.

U.S. 42 and Interstate 75 were briefly shut down Tuesday afternoon due to a jackknifed semi that caught fire on the Exit 181 ramp for State Road 18. 

Florence Fire Batallion Chief Adam Begley said the driver was carrying an empty trailer and lost control as she merged onto the exit ramp. At approximately 12:20 p.m., the semi jackknifed into a ditch and the crash caused the truck to catch fire, producing large plumes of black smoke and sending diesel fuel into a nearby storm drain. 

Begley said the smoke warranted the closure of U.S. 42, and the interstate was shut down as the fire department worked to get the fire under control. It was partially reopened once the fire was under control, which took approximately 12 minutes, Begley said, but Exit 181 was closed for roughly four hours. 

No one was injured in the incident, and the fire department notified the Kentucky Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 

Begley said it’s not clear what caused the accident, but he advised everyone to “slow down and keep your eyes on the road.” 

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