Early in the morning on November 11, 2020, a semitruck hauling chemicals crashed into a jackknifed truck on Interstate 75/71’s Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River, adjacent to downtown Cincinnati. The resulting fire and spill of corrosive potassium hydroxide, a Class-8 hazardous material, caused the bridge to shut down, resulting in significant traffic delays across Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Thankfully, no one was reported injured in the wreck; however, it will take weeks, if not longer, to reopen the bridge. This will cause subsantial headachs for those driving in the Cinicnnati area this holiday season, forcing detours around the I-75/71 interchange in downtown Cincinnati, which was already rated the sixth-worst bottleneck in America.
The wreck and corrosive spill and fire on the Brent Spence Bridge coincides with a frightening trend nationwide of increased incidents of wrecks involving hazardous materials on America’s highways. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the number of transportation incidents involving hazardous materials has increased from 12,658 in 2010 to over 20,660 in 2019. Of the 2019 incidents, most were in the loading or unloading phase, but over 4,600 occurred while in transit.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reports that over the past ten years, hazardous material transportation incidents have caused over $920 billion in damages, resulted in 1,910 serious injuries, and caused 99 deaths across the United States. Unfortunately, with truck drivers spending more time on the road without sleep, increases in distracted driving, and a poorly-maintained nationwide road network, it is likely there will be more collisions, injuries, deaths, and traffic jams from hazardous material incidents on the nation's roadways.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, semi-truck wreck, or other collision, please contact us online at the Poppe Law Firm or call us at 502-895-3400.