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One killed in 7-vehicle wreck in I-85

POSTED: June 6, 2009 12:04 a.m.

One person was killed early Friday morning in a seven-vehicle accident near the Dry Pond exit on Interstate 85.

An RV, two tractor trailers and four passenger vehicles were involved in the accident around 5:30 a.m., according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Details about the victim were not released.

The southbound lanes of I-85 near exit 140 were closed until just after noon, said Teri Pope, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"We had a five-mile traffic backup pretty much during that whole time. There were several factors that caused the cleanup process to take so long," Pope said.

"One of the causes is that it takes at least two tow trucks to take a tractor trailer off the scene. Also with tractor trailers, you have to unload the cargo and reload it onto another truck, so that can take awhile."

One of the tractor trailers involved in the accident was carrying potassium hydroxide, but none was spilled during the accident, Pope said.

"Potassium hydroxide is labeled a hazardous material, so we called in the EPD and a hazardous material cleanup crew to make sure things were cleaned up safely," she said.

"The tractor trailer was damaged during the accident, but there wasn’t any spillage. The potassium hydroxide was loaded into a new truck and driven off."

Potassium hydroxide is an ingredient that can be used to make bleach and other chemicals.

A guardrail also was damaged during the accident, but that was repaired prior to the road being reopened.

State Patrol officials said information concerning the identities and conditions of those involved and the cause of the accident will not be available until next week.



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