Driver of semi that caught fire on I-75 arrested


36-year-old Brandon Cooper was arrested on suspicion of DUI.(Fayette Co. Detention Center)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The driver of the semi that caught fire on Interstate 75 in Lexington, causing a major traffic backup, has been arrested.

Lexington police say that driver, 36-year-old Brandon Cooper, was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

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.

One southbound lane of I-75 is now back open.

According to police, the semi was carrying a resin used to seal fiberglass boat holes. 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 are currently using cranes to lift the semi onto another trailer so they can clear the road.

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

Cooper is currently being held in the Fayette County Detention Center.

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