Tipped truck full of 40,000 pounds of vodka righted, Shotwell Road reopens

A tractor-trailer full of 40,000 lbs of vodka that tipped over at Shotwell Road has been emptied and righted and the roads have reopened.

Town officials say the tractor-trailer that overturned at U.S. 70 and Shotwell Road on Thursday morning was carrying vodka – not wine, as originally reported.

The task of righting the truck proved more difficult than expected, town officials said, predicting it could take the better part of the day, but by about 2 p.m., the truck had been righted and Shotwell Road had reopened.

The cab was disconnected from the trailer as of 9:30 a.m., but attempts by a heavy-duty wrecker to lift the trailer caused it to buckle, Clayton spokeswoman Stacy Beard said. The truck was carrying 17 pallets of vodka and weighs more than 40,000 pounds.

This photo shows where the overturned trailer buckled during attempts to lift it to turn it upright at U.S. 70 and Shotwell Road in Clayton Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. TOWN OF CLAYTON

The cargo was removed one box at a time, Beard said. The trailer was then pulled upright and towed away.

N.C. Highway Patrol troopers conducted a weight inspection and is faulting the driver – Johnathan Davis Chrissy, 33, of Kingsland, Ga. – for not locking down the load, causing it to shift when the driver turned onto Shotwell Road. Beard said Chrissy had never been to Clayton before.

No injuries were reported from the wreck.

Police asked drivers to try to avoid the area until the truck is removed. Drivers heading into town on Shotwell Road can follow Old U.S. 70 to Moore or Robertson streets as a detour to U.S. 70.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT