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Tanker truck involved in deadly crash on Interstate 75 in Laurel County

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - The sight of a tanker truck laying upside down is chilling.

"Very tragic event, here, today," KSP Officer Steven Douglas says.

A tanker truck running a load of liquid sodium sulfate from Alabama to Akron, Ohio crashed in London, killing the driver, Shawn Sweatt, 40, of Pell City, Alabama. Officers say the truck came up on a slow-moving vehicle in the right lane and swerved.

"I'm sure the load shifting has something to do with it. That liquid is constantly moving, especially with aggressive swerving and driving behaviors. So I'm sure the load was sloshing back-and-forth and probably a contributing factor here, as well, today," Douglas adds.

"He swerved over to miss, and I guess by that time he was already over there," a witness, who didn't want to be identified, told WKYT.

The witness and a passenger were broken down on the side of the road when the semi went barreling past them, missing them by just a few feet.

"I was just glad that it didn't hit me," the witness tells us. "I really can't describe it."

The man said he ran up to help, but nothing could be done for Sweatt.

"Obviously when transporting this amount of weight it's going to cause a very serious impact on the cab area of the truck. As you can see, it took a pretty hard hit," says Douglas.

A hard hit that took a life and narrowly missed taking more.

Traffic is still backed up in the area for miles. Much of the traffic is being diverted off the interstate and onto Highway 25.

Investigators say the liquid being transported is not hazardous.


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