Driver killed in fiery tractor-trailer crash that blocked I-285 in Sandy Springs

Cameras show fire trucks at the scene of a tractor-trailer fire on I-285 West.

Credit: Georgia Department of Transportation

Credit: Georgia Department of Transportation

Cameras show fire trucks at the scene of a tractor-trailer fire on I-285 West.

A truck fire on I-285 West near Riverside Drive on Monday resulted in the driver’s death and shut down the northside of the Perimeter for hours, police confirmed.

The fire was reported about 5:30 p.m., according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. The truck’s burning trailer sent a large column of gray smoke into the air over one of the metro area’s busiest stretches of highway.

Authorities said a tractor-trailer rear-ended another big rig that was carrying scrap metal and magnesium. An explosion eventually occurred, and the driver of the at-fault vehicle was killed, according to Sandy Springs police.

“The explosion from the impact came from the fuel onboard the tractor-trailer that caused the accident, which killed the driver,” Sandy Springs police said.

Because of the severity of the fire damage, the victim has not been positively identified.

Police said the scrap metal and the highly flammable magnesium complicated matters and resulted in a long shutdown. Atlanta Fire Rescue officials have not responded to questions about the fire.

Firefighting efforts shut down all westbound lanes and multiple eastbound lanes for several hours. By 7 p.m., all but one westbound lane remained closed. The interstate fully reopened about 11 p.m., more than five hours after the crash.

No charges are expected against the surviving driver, police said Tuesday.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.

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