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Driver of semi that caught fire on I-75 arrested

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 7:50 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The driver of the semi that caught on Interstate 75 in Lexington, causing a major traffic backup, has been arrested.

Lexington police say that driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Jail records show 36-year-old Brandon Cooper is currently being held in the Fayette County Detention Center.

Jail records show 36-year-old Brandon Cooper is currently being held in the Fayette County...
Jail records show 36-year-old Brandon Cooper is currently being held in the Fayette County Detention Center.(Fayette Co. Detention Center)

We’re told that, just after 7:30 Thursday morning, a semi-trailer carrying hazardous material caught fire in the southbound lanes of I-75, near the 118-mile marker.

No injuries were reported, but police had to shut down the southbound lanes at exit 120 for a couple of hours while firefighters made sure the scene was under control. We’re told police were rerouting traffic at Ironworks Pike.

According to police, the semi was carrying a resin used to seal fiberglass boat hulls. Police say a mechanical issue might have overheated the brakes causing the substance on board to catch fire.

Lt. Chris Van Brackle, with the Lexington Police Department, says the fire was so intense that crews spent quite a while trying to get it under control and that created complications with getting the trailer bed taken away.

“One of the problems we have that’s slowing us down is the trailer fire was so bad, the wheels burned as well,” Brackle said. “So, instead of just being able to hook onto the trailer and tow it out, they’re actually going to have to lift the trailer onto another trailer and then be able to move it.”

Tow trucks used cranes to lift the semi onto another trailer.

Police say a water supply heading to Georgetown runs right underneath the area so making sure that resin was properly disposed of was also a priority. They say crews worked to dig out all the dirt where the resin leaked until they saw fresh dirt.

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