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Driver Falls Asleep At Wheel; Tanker Overturns On Highway 70

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clayton asphalt truck
CLAYTON, N.C. — An overturned truck carrying asphalt closed part of Highway 70 near Clayton Monday.

The tractor-trailer, which was carrying hot liquid asphalt, overturned at about 4:30 a.m. Monday on Highway 70 at Sadisco Road, just east of Clayton. The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the driver of the truck fell asleep.

During the wreck, 100 gallons of asphalt spilled, which caused all lanes to close. All but one westbound lane was reopened after the spill was cleaned up.

"We dodged a big bullet here because if it had been gasoline or kerosene and we'd had this kind of leak, you would see mad scrambles here running up and down the creek trying to stop the flow of the product," said Ricky Barbour, of the Wilson's Mills Fire Department. "We're very fortunate it's leaking slow enough that we're able to contain it."

At one point, crews had to build a temporary gravel road to the truck, so traffic could continue to move on Highway 70.

There were no injuries in the wreck. The driver, whose name was not released, will be charged with careless and reckless driving, the Highway Patrol said.

Authorities said the company that owns the truck that wrecked will pay for the temporary road construction.