Weatherford Democrat

Local News

January 13, 2010

Truck explosion, fire shut down I-20

Crystal Brown

The driver of a semi-truck was transported by LifeCare to Weatherford Regional Medical Center Wednesday afternoon after his truck exploded on Interstate 20.

Robert Burchard lives near I-20 just across the interstate from the Hudson Oaks Walmart and witnessed the fire. He was walking to the convenience store down the road when the truck caught fire about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday in the westbound lanes just west of the Lakeshore Drive bridge.

An emergency worker notified dispatch at about that same time he saw the cab of a truck explode, as overheard on the scanner in the Democrat office.

“I was coming down here to the store and I heard a boom and looked up and it was burning,” Burchard said. “It was just barely moving. Pretty soon, the other fuel tank went and the whole thing was engulfed.”

The Interstate was shut down in both directions.

Weatherford Fire Marshal Bob Hopkins said another semi-truck traveling eastbound on I-20 lost either an axle or a tire, and it flew across the interstate striking the westbound truck.

“We don’t know where the eastbound truck went,” Hopkins said. “He kept going. I don’t think he knew he lost something.”

Two other semi-trucks and a small car were stopped just in front of the engulfed cab. Hopkins said they were nearby when the truck exploded and stopped, some with glass shattered.

Weatherford Fire Chief George Teague said there were no other injuries in the incident.

“When the truck lost the wheel or axle, the other truck ran over it and it busted the fuel tank,” Teague said. “Probably from dragging it down the road.”

Hopkins said the truck was carrying some kind of hydrocarbon-based foam and nothing hazardous.

“It was an impressive fire,” he said.

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