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I-77 crash details emerge after hours-long shutdown, chemical spill

The crash involved a pickup truck and two tractor-trailers.

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, S.C. — One person has died following a Thursday morning I-77 crash near Blythewood that led to a hazardous materials team response and shelter-in-place advisories.

According to Master Trooper Gary Miller with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the crash happened around 3:30 a.m. near mile marker 31 - about a mile south of the Peach Road exit to Ridgeway.

A preliminary investigation found that a pickup truck was heading south on I-77 when it made an improper lane change and was struck by a 2003 Peterbilt tractor-trailer and again by a 2020 Volvo tractor-trailer which was pulling a trailer. 

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Miller said the pickup truck and the Volvo each caught fire after the crash. The pickup truck driver was killed in the crash. The only other injury involved the driver of the Volvo tractor-trailer who was taken to the hospital. That person's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, Miller said.

Miller deferred to the Fairfield County Coroner's Office for additional information about the person killed in the crash.

The accident ultimately led to a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) response since one of the trucks was carrying an estimated 20,000 pounds of ammonium sulfate in solid form.

Once Fairfield County Fire crews were able to determine the contents and figure out a plan of attack to safely handle the scene, crews were able to put the fire out. However, it took several hours to clear the wreckage from the southbound lanes.

It wasn't until around 2 p.m. that the Fairfield County Fire Service announced the reopening of one southbound lane. Around 6 p.m., the South Carolina Department of Transportation announced both lanes of southbound traffic had cleared.

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