UPDATE: Driver in truck fire admitted drinking, didn’t know where was: Police


UPDATE POSTED 1:30 P.M. JUNE 24, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Arkansas truck driver whose rig created a spectacular fire on I-75 Thursday morning admitted drinking beer, taking cannabis candy and not knowing where he was, according to an arrest citation charging him with suspected of driving under the influence.

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According to the citation, 36-year-old Brandon Decarlos Cooper, of Emerson, Ark., was driving a 2005 International tractor trailer for M.J. Trucking of Buena Park, Calif., when the incident happened shortly after 7:30 a.m. at the 199 mile marker on I-75 southbound.

When officers arrived, they said Cooper had slurred speech and “a faint odor of alcoholic beverage.” The man was “unable to advise” what state he was in and was “confused on where he was going,” according to the citation.

He showed “clues of impairment” on tests and admitted drinking three beers in which he’d poured hemp oil, the citation alleges. He also said he’d eaten two cannabis edible gummies, police alleged.

UPDATE POSTED 12:20 P.M. JUNE 24, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Authorities have provided additional information regarding the truck fire on I-75.

According to the Lexington Police Department, they received the call about a semi-truck being on fire on mile marker 119 around 7:35 a.m.

The load on the trailer contained a poxy resin that is used to seal holes on fiberglass boats. Authorities say the trailer of the truck had a mechanical issue that started the fire, which caused the resin to burn as well.

As reported earlier, the two straight lanes are open on I-75 southbound. PECCO is still working on cleaning up the area. Part of the right lane which leads to the exit ramp onto I-64 West is still blocked.

Police arrested the driver under suspicion of DUI. Police cannot identify the driver, but jail records indicate the driver was Brandon Cooper. The investigation is still ongoing as a blood test is pending.

Brandon Cooper
Source: Fayette County Detention Center

UPDATE POSTED 11:40 A.M. JUNE 24, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two lanes are now open on I-75 southbound following the truck fire.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – One lane of I-75 southbound reopened at about 10 a.m. as clean up continues on a massive truck fire that sent thick smoke billowing skyward during the morning rush hour and created traffic headaches on Newtown Pike and Ironworks Pike as drivers scrambled to find alternative routes.

The Lexington Fire Department said as of 10 a.m. how long clean up by PECCO, an environmental clean-up firm, would take or when all southbound lanes might open.

The fire was reported just after 7:30 a.m. at mile marker 199 on I-75 South. The driver of the semi rig apparently spotted the fire, pulled to the shoulder and was able to disconnect the trailer from the truck, according to the fire department.

By the time firefighters arrived, the trailer was fully involved, creating a spectacular fire for drivers in both directions.

According to the dire department, it took firefighters about 15 minutes to extinguish the blaze, leaving just a soldering shell. No injuries were reported.

The fire department said it was not sure what the trailer was carrying or details on the owners of the trailer or where it was going.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Interstate 75 is shutdown in Lexington after a semi truck fire near Iron Works Pike.

According to Lexwrecks, the closure is at mile marker 119 on the southbound side of I-75.

Drivers tell ABC36 they could see the smoke for miles and actually felt the heat in their vehicles when they drove by.

This is a developing story. Check back with ABC36 for updates.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!