VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP (WWJ)– A truck driver was critically burned after his rig loaded with liquor slammed into a steel hauler parked along westbound I-94 past Haggerty Road, forcing that section of the freeway to be closed for hours
Greg Corwin of Van Buren Township was awakened by explosions.
“We looked out the door, there was flames all over the road. And we walked out there and it was fully engulfed — both vehicles were fully engulfed,” Corwin said.
WWJ’s Ron Dewey reported from the scene that just before 4 a.m. Wednesday, both trucks caught fire and exploded after the semi loaded Crown Royal crashed into the parked hauler.
The driver of the liquor truck jumped out of his cab on fire; he was reportedly rescued by another motorist with a fire extinguisher.
The man was rushed to U of M Hospital with burns to 80 percent of his body. He was reported in critical condition later Wednesday.
Van Buren Township Fire Chief Darwin Loyer told WWJ the clean-up work with the truck and the boxes of liquor in the back is posing a challenge.
“When oxygen hits it, the heat’s there and the fuel’s there; and when the oxygen hits it, it takes off again,” Loyer said. “That’s why they got the loader here and we’re taking it apart, bit by bit. There’s a hand line on the other side that puts the fire out as it starts up again.”
Authorities were still trying to locate the driver of the steel truck parked alongside the freeway. It had been there since at least 1:30 Wednesday morning.
Michigan State Police said the accident investigation could last into the afternoon.
Video submitted by WWJ Newsradio 950 listener Greg Corwin.
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