Tractor-trailer overturned on I-81 after driver fell asleep

Tractor-trailer overturned on I-81 in Greene County after driver fell asleep

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BAILEYTOWN (WATE) - Interstate 81 is back open after the driver of a tractor trailer overturned his truck Tuesday morning, shutting down the roadway for 12 hours. The driver and his passenger were injured in the incident.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the driver, Michael Azoulay, 24, of McKinney, Texas, told emergency responders he fell asleep at the wheel.

The truck ran off the road onto the highway median near Mile Marker 35 at around 11:30 a.m. When Azoulay tried to correct the direction, he said, the truck's load shifted and the truck overturned on the driver's side. 

Azoulay and an unidentified passenger were taken to a nearby hospital.

Cargo in the truck spilled onto the roadway. The roadway had to be closed for about an hour while crews cleaned up the wreck.

An emergency lane was opened for southbound traffic to get around the wreck.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says charges may be filed against the driver.

Officials say the highway is not expected to reopen until after midnight Tuesday.

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