October 3, 2013

Load of toilet paper bogs down traffic

Semi-truck wrecks on I-75

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A dog, a semi-truck and toilet paper.

Those were the factors involved in a non-injury accident along Interstate 75 on Monday afternoon that backed up traffic for more than five miles and several hours.

The chaos began when 49-year-old George T. Furtell of Knoxville was driving a 2001 Volvo tractor trailer southbound near the 44-mile marker around noon on Monday.

Furtell told officers with the Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement a dog ran across the road in front of him and he swerved to avoid hitting the animal. The sudden shift caused the truck to jackknife, sending the trailer that was loaded with 20,000 pounds of toilet paper against the guard rail, where it tilted to the right and spilled diesel from the ruptured tank.

Furtell was not injured in the crash.

Emergency vehicles immediately responded to the scene of the crash, where members of the Laurel County Emergency Management office oversaw the cleanup of the debris and diesel while officers with the KSP - Vehicle Enforcement blocked the right-hand lane of traffic.

Traffic quickly backed up along the busy roadway as only one lane of traffic moved carefully through the area. Officials with the KSP - Vehicle Enforcement said the cleanup operations closed the ‘slow lane’ of the roadway for nearly two hours and traffic was backed up almost to the Livingston exit 49.

Assisting on the scene were KSP - Vehicle Enforcement officers Randy Rader, Dennis Jackson, Laurel County Volunteer Fire Department, Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County, and Laurel County Emergency Management. The London-Laurel County Rescue Squad initially went to the scene.