Mike Wilbur


LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) — Interstate 71 reopened about noon on Monday, after a semi truck collided with a fire truck on I-71 near Pendleton, Kentucky.

The collision occurred just before 5 a.m. Monday near the 33 mile marker, just before the Campbellsburg exit.

Kentucky State Police Post 5 Sgt. Bernie Napier said a trooper, along with firefighters form the Campbellsburg Fire Department, were originally called to the interstate for a car on fire just after 4:00 a.m.

Emergency responders set up a advance warning truck with its lights on in the right lane to warn drivers well in advance that an emergency was ahead. Even with the extra warning, a semi driver crashed into the parked fire truck, which then flipped several times.

“Clearly, that’s the truck that we’d want them to hit if they’re going to hit anything,” Napier said. “To try and keep our firefighters safe and keep EMS and troopers and other officers safe. We always want people to slow down. If fire and EMS are called and we’re dealing with things on the side of the road, it’s one of the most dangerous things we have to do.”

The driver of the semi and a passenger were taken to University of Louisville Hospital with minor injuries. It is still under investigation why the semi driver failed to stop. It is also unclear if anyone could face charges in the future.

“Obviously, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle is a crime and violation of state law here. Not saying it’s out of the possibilities,” said Napier.

No first responders were hurt in the crash. The fire truck that was damaged came from the Port Royal station. It’s unclear how long it will take to replace it. The remaining fire trucks will be shifted around to cover the district.

“They do have other trucks,” Napier said. “But obviously being down a fire truck in a small community such as this, it’s a big deal. It’s going to affect them until they get it replaced.”

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