Overheated brakes may be to blame for I-71 semi fire


by Johnny Archer


Posted on July 24, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 24 at 12:23 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It was a frightening Wednesday morning for Colton Casey when his tractor trailer erupted into flames while he was driving on I-71.

“All of a sudden I look in the back and I see flames,” Casey said.

Casey said he believes it his brakes that got too hot and that is what sparked the blaze. The flames spread to the trailer, which was loaded with groceries.

Black smoke rose into the sky just before 7 a.m.

Northbound I-71 was closed and traffic was backed up just before the Gene Snyder Freeway on-ramp.

“It’s just unreal,” Casey said. “I’ve never been a part of anything like this. Sorry to the traffic of Louisville, Kentucky.”

One lane was opened around 8:30 a.m. and traffic slowly passed the tractor trailer that was heading from Missouri to Pennsylvania.

Casey and his co-driver said they tried to put out the fire with extinguishers, but the flames quickly got out of control.

“I’m just kind of in shock,” Casey said. “I’m lucky we got out.”