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I-540 Ramp Closed After Truck Overturns, Catches Fire

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DURHAM — The northbound access to Interstate 540 from Interstate 40 eastbound was closed Friday after a tractor-trailer overturned and caught fire. Authorities say it took several hours to upright the truck, which caused traffic delays during the Friday afternoon rush hour.

The accident happened about 10:30 a.m. when a truck driver lost control of his rig on the I-540 northbound flyover ramp. The truck skidded, overturned and caught fire.

The driver was shaken up, but not hurt. He says that the load shifted on him while on the ramp.

Authorities said the truck's cargo of drywall panels needed to be unloaded before the rig could be lifted and towed away. Earlier, they had hoped they could get the truck up with its load intack.

Crews off-loaded thousands of pounds. The Department of Transportation says it was a big job to get the cargo off the bridge.

"I have never had to deal with one on a bridge like this before," Durham County highway engineer Troy Dover said. "Generally, it is on the side of the roadway. We don't feel like there is going to be any long term damage to the bridge deck itself. We have our bridge maintenance engineer checking it out, and we feel like it is going to be okay."

The driver told police that he was not speeding.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
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