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An overturned semi truck shut down eastbound lanes for several hours Tuesday afternoon on Western Kentucky Parkway near Elizabethtown and dumped half-and-half cream into a creek.
The semi was traveling east on the parkway near mile-marker 134 and approaching a bridge over Valley Creek when it struck a guard rail in the left lane, said Chris Jessie, spokesman for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 4 in Elizabethtown.
The truck then swung into the right lane and struck the opposite guard rail before coming to a rest on its side across the bridge, he said.
The female driver was injured and transported to Hardin Memorial Hospital by Hardin County EMS. Her name was unavailable as of press time.
As it dragged across the concrete structure, the truck’s trailer opened, spilling its load of dairy products onto the overpass and into the creek below.
Doug Finlay, deputy director of Hardin County Emergency Management, said officials with the state’s Emergency Response Team and Department for Environmental Protection were on the scene Tuesday afternoon testing the creek’s water.
According to Finlay, the introduction of half-and-half cream into the creek could deplete oxygen in the water, endangering fish and other organisms in its ecosystem.
Immediately following the incident, Finlay said the creek appeared white near the site of the wreck. However, by late afternoon, he said the cream was barely visible as the fast-moving water displaced it.
If testing revealed oxygen levels were low, Finlay said officials would aerate the water to reintroduce oxygen.
While the parkway’s eastbound lanes were shut down, traffic was diverted to U.S. 62 at the White Mills exit.
According to KTC District 4, the closure was expected to last through 6 p.m.
Following the wreck, Jessie said an engineer examined the overpass and found the bridge’s structure was not damaged. However, he said the truck had knocked out portions of railing on both sides of the overpass, which would be replaced.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or email@example.com.