Michael Anthony McGehee, 48, of Lincoln, Ala., was killed when the tanker he was driving flipped over U.S. Hwy. 27 near the Polk County line.
According to Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Joe Stephens:
McGhee was traveling north on 27 when his truck left the highway, traveling 400 feet through brush and evergreens along the highway before finally overturning, scattering ash along the pavement.
Both Georgia State Patrol and Polk County Police Department arrived on scene at 8:19 a.m., within minutes of receiving the call.
While the trees and roadside did damage the bottom of the tanker, there were no skid marks on the highway to indicate McGehee had put on the brakes.
“I can only speculate at this point. But it could have been medically related or he could have fallen asleep,” Stephens said.
McGehee’s body will be sent to the GBI crime lab in Decatur for an autopsy.
Officers believe the cab stayed upright while the tank overturned, Stephens said.
The northbound lanes were closed and traffic was rerouted in shifts on the southbound lane. The non-hazardous ash is being transported to Rockmart, and the highway remained closed for much of the day.
As of 3:30 p.m. the northbound lanes were still closed.
An unidentified bulk tanker driver traveling north on U.S. Hwy. 27 just north of Cedartown was killed in a single-vehicle accident this morning.
Georgia State Patrol and Polk County Police Department arrived on scene at 8:19 a.m., just eight minutes after they received a call about a truck carrying ash that had overturned on the side of the road.
GSP Cpl. Joe Stephens said the tanker traveled approximately 400 feet after clipping a ‘Wrong Way’ sign off the side of the four-lane highway up the embankment.
“There is no indication of him hitting his brakes or swerving on the road,” Stephens said.
Stephens said their first thought was that the vehicle was a log truck because of the debris.
The visible damage on the tires and bottom of the truck came from the trees that lay alongside the road, Stephens said.
“We believe the cab stayed upright, and the only overturn was the tank,” Stephens said.
The non-hazardous material from the tank is being transported to Rockmart, and traffic is being routed alternating on the southbound and northbound lanes until the wreck site is cleared.