A tractor-trailer carrying 47,000 pounds of bottled beer turned over late Thursday night on southbound Interstate 77 in Richburg near the bridge construction at Exit 62.
The driver was not hurt, said Richburg Fire Chief John Agee, "and that is what is important."
The truck was marked American Ale, Agee said, an Anheuser-Busch brand.
"I did not see any beer that survived," said Agee, who along with five other volunteers washed down the road this morning until 6 a.m. to rid the highway of broken glass and beer. "The impact looked like it burst all of the bottles that I could see. We washed plenty of beer, but there's not a fireman who was able to get a beer afterward."
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The road is back open after it was temporarily closed after the 10 p.m. crash while S.C. Department of Transportation crews used backhoes and graders to push the debris off the road, Agee said.
Agee said it is the first beer clean-up in recent memory, but in the mid 1990s a truck of fertilizer broke down on Interstate 77 near mile marker 60, then another truck carrying a full load of women's panties smashed into the first truck.
"There was women's underwear all over the Interstate," Agee recalled. ""There wasn't a woman in Richburg that needed panties for many a year after that."
It is yet unclear exactly where the beer was headed or where it came from but local beer drinkers can breathe easier as the weekend approaches: The truck was not local and the beer inside was not local, said Dan Sutton of B & B Distributors in Rock Hill, which provides beer to York, Chester and Lancaster counties.
In words that will be more important today as temperatures reach the mid 90s again than maybe any words a political candidate will ever say in any debate before Tuesday's runoff elections, Sutton said the following: "Our beer is safe. We have plenty." Check back for updates.