I-40 East reopens in Dickson County after fiery semi crash - Telemundo Amarillo

I-40 East reopens in Dickson County after fiery semi crash

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The crash happened just after 5 a.m. Wednesday. (WSMV) The crash happened just after 5 a.m. Wednesday. (WSMV)
The semi driver hit a guardrail and then an embankment. (WSMV) The semi driver hit a guardrail and then an embankment. (WSMV)
Crews have been working to clear the scene for several hours. (WSMV) Crews have been working to clear the scene for several hours. (WSMV)
BURNS, TN (WSMV) -

Two people were able to narrowly escape from a semi truck after it crashed and then burst into flames in Dickson County on Wednesday morning.

The crash shut down the interstate for more than 12 hours between the exits for Interstate 840 and Highway 96.

Officials on scene said the driver, his female passenger and their dog were all able to escape with minor injuries.

The driver told first responders that his tire blew out, causing him to lose control and hit a concrete barrier around 5:20 a.m. When he hit the barrier, it smashed into his fuel tank, causing the vehicle to burst into flames.

The public information officer for the Tennessee Highway Patrol said it appears the crash may have been caused by improper lane use. Officials said they do not believe the driver was impaired.

One witness described seeing flames shoot almost as high as the top of the trees. He said he can’t believe the driver is alive based on what he saw.

Two men who saw the semi truck go up in flames both called 911.

"When I saw the bright light, I looked up, and my window was down, and I could feel the heat from the flames. I mean, that's how close we were," said Charlie Barbera.

"I actually had to back up, you know, to get away from it, and had I stayed where I was at and stayed beside him, it probably would have involved me as well," said Brad Bell.

The truck was hauling crates filled with glass bottles and spilled about 150 gallons of diesel into the road. Crews extinguished the flames but sprayed foam as a precaution.

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