Tractor Trailer Fire Closes 1-40 West
Hot brakes…that is what caused a tractor trailer fire that backed up traffic on Interstate 40 for miles back into North Carolina. The truck driver, 70 year old Jabari Miller from Charlotte told the Tennessee Highway Patrol that the brakes on his trailer got hot and caught fire while traveling down the mountain out of the Pigeon River Gorge. Miller wisely had uncoupled the cab from the trailer to keep the fire contained to just the trailer which contained 41,000 cardboard boxes filled with cereal.
That fire shut down both westbound lanes of I-40 at the 451 mile marker for a time yesterday morning…then with just one lane open for several hours, traffic westbound on I-40 towards Newport was backed up for miles into North Carolina. At one point traffic slowed through the gorge all the way back to MM 13 in North Carolina near Fines Creek. TDOT crews worked for hours to clean up the mess and by shortly after 3pm had the interstate completely back open. There were no injuries in that truck fire.