I-95 south in Old Lyme reopens after tractor-trailer fire

A payloader moves-in after a heavy-duty wrecker removed the tractor from the trailer as clean-up continues on I95 southbound in Old Lyme after a fire in a tractor trailer shut down the highway in the early morning hours Friday, July 19, 2013.
A payloader moves-in after a heavy-duty wrecker removed the tractor from the trailer as clean-up continues on I95 southbound in Old Lyme after a fire in a tractor trailer shut down the highway in the early morning hours Friday, July 19, 2013. Sean D. Elliot/The Day

Old Lyme - State police have arrested the driver of a tractor-trailer carrying king crabs legs after the vehicle caught on fire and shut down Interstate 95 south in Old Lyme for more than seven hours Friday.

Myron Hawkins, 54, of California, was charged with reckless driving as a result of a truck inspection.

Interstate 95 south was closed between Exits 70 and 71. Police said they believe the fire started in the brake area. The trailer was fully engulfed in flames. The incident was reported at 4:20 a.m. and the highway reopened around 11:30 a.m.

Motorists were being detoured at Exit 71, police said. Traffic was congested through East Lyme as were the side roads off of Exit 71.

Hawkins was scheduled to be arraigned Friday at G.A. 10 in New London.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded to the scene.

Dennis Schain, DEEP spokesman, said the fire caused the rupture of the truck's saddle tanks, which were carrying diesel fuel.

He said about 100 gallons of fuel spilled onto the highway and soil on the side of the roadway. An environmental contractor cleaned the roadway and excavated the soil for proper disposal.

Schain said the truck was carrying king crab legs, which had to be off-loaded onto another truck.

No injuries were reported.

Northbound traffic slows to a crawl as it approaches the scene on I95 southbound in Old Lyme after a fire in a tractor trailer shut down the highway in the early morning hours Friday, July 19, 2013.
Northbound traffic slows to a crawl as it approaches the scene on I95 southbound in Old Lyme after a fire in a tractor trailer shut down the highway in the early morning hours Friday, July 19, 2013. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
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