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Tanker carrying liquid asphalt hits mower on I-40

The Associated Press

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BURGAW — A tractor-trailer carrying about 6,000 gallons of liquid asphalt has struck a tractor mowing the median on westbound Interstate 40 in Pender County.

Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins said the mower operator drifted into the roadway and into the path of the 18-wheeler around 1 p.m. Tuesday. He said the man was thrown about 30 feet by the impact.

Collins said the unidentified driver was conscious when he was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

While some of the liquid asphalt spilled, Collins said drains have been covered up to prevent contamination. He said the leak has been contained.

The accident near mile marker 396 backed up traffic for more than five miles and reduced traffic to one lane in each direction.