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Wreck shuts down 71

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By Cindy DiFazio

The collision of two tractor trailer trucks on I-71 last week closed the interstate for several hours.

The two trucks collided on I-71 around 4 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 1, and resulted in long delays throughout the morning rush hour and beyond.

The driver of a northbound truck, John Hauser of Akron, Ohio, struck a semi that had stopped in the right lane. Hauser’s vehicle rolled over into the median and both vehicles caught fire. Kentucky State Police reported the semi that was stopped had experienced power failure.

KSP Public Affairs Officer Seth Willis said Hauser’s truck was carrying crates of motor oil which complicated clean-up efforts.

“That’s a  huge EPA issue,” he said.

Willis said environmental guidelines were followed to ensure public safety.

“Any time there is a vehicle fire,” he said, “there are open gas tanks and burned rubber.”

Hauser and his passenger, Jeffrey Booth also of Ohio, were transported to Baptist Hospital Northeast in LaGrange with non-life threatening injuries.

The stalled truck was unoccupied at the time of the incident.

Willis said thanks to the work of local fire departments and emergency personnel, I-71 was re-opened around 10 a.m.

Assisting at the scene were Henry County EMS and Emergency Management, plus fire departments from Campbellsburg, Lake Jericho, LaGrange, Eminence, Pleasureville and New Castle.

“Considering what took place it re-opened pretty quickly,” he said. “It takes so much equipment to move those trucks down the road.”

E-mail us about this article at news@hclocal.com.