A semi-truck carrying hazardous materials went off of Interstate-80 south of Grinnell sometime last night. 

The accident took place just east of the Grinnell interchange when a semi-truck left the roadway and went over the south embankment, landing on the railroad tracks below. The accident was discovered about nine o’clock this morning by a worker at a small agricultural operation nearby.

Poweshiek County Sheriff Tom Sheets says it isn’t yet known what material the truck was carrying. "As of right now, Grinnell Fire is on the scene checking for (hazardous) chemicals and we’ve contacted Waterloo HazMat. Right now they’re trying to determine exactly what was on the truck that spilled out," Sheets says. "The semi is across the railroad tracks. We have contacted the railroad company and advised them that the tracks are closed and they’ve got a representative en route right now to check out the scene."

Sheets says when the truck hit, its cargo shifted forward and went through the cab. "There is a fatality involved. Right now we do not know the name of the person or where he’s from yet," Sheet says, adding the scene isn’t safe yet for investigators to inspect.

The entire truck is completely demolished and Sheets says it isn’t even clear if there may have been a passenger in the cab.