A fiery truck crash on the Interstate 75 Clays Ferry Bridge disrupted traffic for about nine hours and killed the driver who was found on the river bank hundreds of feet below, authorities said.
The crash occurred about 6:20 a.m. on the southbound side of the bridge. said Battalion Chief Mark Harvey of the Lexington Fire Department. The tractor-trailer lost control and crashed into a barrier before the cab was engulfed in flames.
The fire department found the truck driver on the bank of the river about 400 feet below the bridge, according to Battalion Chief Joe Best. It was unclear if he jumped from the truck or was ejected.
Best said that the cab of the truck was fully engulfed in flames, and that the tires burned off the trailer. The trailer, which was carrying electrical equipment, was only slightly burned.
In addition to the truck fire, fluid leaking from the tractor-trailer started a fire below the bridge, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.
Best said between 75-100 pounds of diesel fuel spilled into the Kentucky River.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, and clean up the spilled fuel from the river.
The crash and death caused major disruption on one of the area's busiest interstate sections. All lanes were initially closed, but emergency crews eventually were able to reopen the left lane until the entire stretch could accommodate vehicles at about 3:20 p.m.
Southbound traffic was backed up for the most of the day.