Trucker in I-70 fatality identified as Ohio man

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

PUTNAMVILLE -- An Ohio truck driver was the lone victim of Monday's tanker truck crash that left Interstate 70 closed until early morning Tuesday.

Putnam County Chief Deputy Coroner Dave Brown identified the victim as George F. Leggett, 65, Columbus, Ohio.

An autopsy was scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Terre Haute Regional Hospital by pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr. No results were immediately available.

Indiana State Police and Putnam County emergency agencies responded to the overturned tractor-trailer just east of the 30-mile marker at 4:26 p.m. Monday.

They found the driver dead at the scene and the tanker trailer broken nearly in half, spilling approximately 6,000 gallons of what State Police are identifying as a "highly flammable hazardous industrial solvent."

Radio dispatches on Monday evening indicated the liquid to be acetone.

The truck was registered to Quality Carriers of Florida.

The westbound vehicle left the roadway for an unknown reason and struck a cement bridge support near County Road 775 West.

Hazardous materials responders from the Cloverdale Township and Greencastle fire departments were dispatched to the incident. Cleanup continued Tuesday with haz mat crews from Indianapolis and New Albany.

The westbound lanes were opened at approximately 5:20 a.m. Tuesday, followed by the eastbound lanes at approximately 6:30 a.m.

Traffic was diverted to U.S. 40 via U.S. 231 at Cloverdale, State Road 243 at Putnamville and State Road 59 at Brazil.

Additional cleanup efforts began around 10 a.m. with some lane restrictions and slowed traffic expected near the 30-mile marker.

Some motorists were evacuated after their vehicles became stuck in the median while attempting to make U-turns. No other evacuations have occurred or are anticipated.

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