KHP identifies semi driver killed in Franklin Co. wreck, fire

Published: Mar. 25, 2016 at 12:32 PM CDT
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An Alabama man was killed when the tractor-trailer he was driving rolled down an embankment in Franklin Co. early Friday morning.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 44-year-old Christopher William Cole was behind the wheel of the semi shortly after 5:00 a.m., heading west on K-68.

As he approached a bridge about nine miles east of Ottawa, the rig went off the road. It then flipped over and went down the embankment, coming to a rest on the creek bed below. The tractor-trailer, which was carrying paper products, caught fire and continued to burn well into the day.

Cole was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators have not determined why the semi went off the highway.

K-68, east of K-33, between Ottawa and Paola, was closed into the afternoon following the wreck, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.