Semi driver killed in crash identified

Posted by Mike Dever - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Police have identified the driver of a tractor-trailer who was killed in a crossover crash on I-71 Thursday evening.

It happened just before 5:30 p.m. near the Oldham County line.That's where LMPD spokesperson Alicia Smiley says the chain-reaction crash started when a black car traveling north on swerved to avoid hitting a ladder and caused a Mustang behind the black car to slam on its brakes.

The driver of a semi behind the Mustang swerved to avoid hitting it, and Smiley says he then overcorrected, causing the truck to break through the cable barrier into the southbound lanes, where it slammed into another tractor-trailer, killing its driver, 46-year-old Royce (John) Baumgardner.

Baumgardner, who lived in Piketon, Ohio, was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple blunt force injuries.

Both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-71 were closed for several hours while the LMPD Traffic Unit cleared the scene. At one point, traffic was backed up to Zorn Avenue in the northbound lanes. All all lanes had reopened by 5 a.m. Friday.

Smiley says drivers must make sure any loose objects on their car are secure, and advises drivers who see debris or other objects in the roadway to call 911.

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