Update 6:31 pm.
Tennessee Highway Patrol has identified the driver of a semi-truck who was killed in a single vehicle accident on I-75 southbound near, mile marker 50, in Athens on Saturday at approximately 1:00 pm.
Donald J. Barnes, 53, from Union City, Tenn. lost control of his semi-truck, ran off the roadway and struck a tree head-on. After the crash, THP said the semi-truck's cab burst into flames. Barnes was inside the cab when his truck caught fire, and eventually the flames completely engulfed the entire tractor trailer.
THP said rescue squads found an empty box with some type of powder on it in the back of the truck. Since rescuers did not know what type of powder it was, they called in the hazardous materials team to investigate. According to THP, authorities determined the truck was not hauling any hazardous materials.
The fatal crash in McMinn County shutdown southbound lanes on I-75 for about three hours.
McMinn County Fire Department confirmed a semi-truck traveling southbound on I-75 lost control, crashed and then burst into flames around mile marker 50 on Saturday afternoon at approximately 1:00.
The fatal single vehicle crash has shut down that portion of I-75 for a couple hours. Tennessee Highway Patrol is working to clear the accident, and a team has called in forensics. THP is re-routing traffic at exit 56. Southbound lanes are shutdown and northbound lanes are congested.
No one, but the driver, was inside the semi-truck at the time of the accident. Authorities confirmed the driver of the semi-truck died in that crash. THP said it is unclear what caused the accident.
Dispatch said rescue squads found an empty box with some type of powder on it in the back of the semi-truck. Since rescuers did not know what type of powder it was, they called in the hazardous materials team to investigate. According to THP spokesperson Dalya Qualls, authorities determined that the truck was not hauling hazardous materials.
Authorities are not releasing any additional information at this time.