Truck driver falls asleep, crashes into I-75 sound barrier, cops say

For hours Monday morning, I-75 North was shut down between Kennesaw and Acworth after a tractor-trailer loaded with scrap metal went through an interstate sound wall and burst into flames.

A fiery tractor-trailer crash on I-75 north of Wade Green Road blocked the interstate for hours. The truck went through a sound barrier wall on I-75, officials said. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The crash was finally moved to the right shoulder around 10:30 a.m. after five hours of road closures.

Just before 5:30 a.m., the truck was traveling northbound near Wade Green and Hickory Grove roads “when the driver presumably fell asleep,” Cobb County police spokeswoman Officer Sarah O’Hara said in a statement.

The tractor-trailer drifted off the road and hit a series of concrete and metal barriers before plowing through an interstate guard rail, she said. The truck hit a drainage ditch, rolled over and caught fire, igniting a nearby sound barrier wall.

The crash shut down I-75 North near Wade Green Road. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The driver, 38-year-old John Thurston of Millen, was ejected from the vehicle and was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, O’Hara said. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Chopper footage showed the truck on its side for much of the morning and heavy damage to the sound barrier. Officials got the truck upright just after 10:30 a.m.

The crash is still under investigation with the Cobb County special traffic unit. Anyone with information should contact the unit at 770-499-3987.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.