Fatality Reported after Fiery Tractor-Trailer Crash on I-65
Two semi-trucks collided in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 in Millersville, Tennessee, early Wednesday, resulting in a fiery scene and the death of one of the drivers.
Per a report by WKRN.com, the accident occurred near Long Hollow Pike just before 5 a.m. when the two semi-trucks collided. The impact of the collision caused the cab of one of the trucks to detach from its trailer, resulting in the truck rolling over in the middle of the road.
Motorists who witnessed the accident stopped their vehicles and immediately ran to help the driver who was stuck inside the overturned truck cabin. When they broke open the truck windows, flames shot out of the cabin, forcing them back away from the truck.
First responders soon arrived at the accident scene and began trying to pull the driver from the wreckage.
However, they were unable to pull him to safety before he suffered fatal injuries, and a report by the Tennessee Highway Patrol confirmed that he was pronounced dead just before 7 a.m.
Emergency responders extinguished the flames from the accident at around 6 a.m., and traffic is expected to begin moving through the area again by around 11 a.m.
What Are Common Causes of Vehicle Fires?
Although uncommon, vehicle fires can put the lives of drivers and passengers in danger. All fires can be life-threatening, but vehicle fires often spread quickly and can produce large amounts of smoke that can quickly move from engine compartments to interior seating areas, causing vehicle occupants to suffer from smoke-related burns and even suffocation. When vehicle fires occur, it’s vital for drivers and passengers to exit their cars and trucks as quickly as possible.
Some of the most common causes of vehicle fires include:
- Auto accidents
Cars, trucks, and SUVs are powered by combustion engines, which involves the combination of high levels of heat and flammable fuel. However, the design of modern vehicles makes vehicle fires rare, even during collisions, due to crumple zones that protect dangerous spots like the engine, battery, and gas tank. But when vehicles are hit with large amounts of force, those crumple zones may not offer enough protection, which can result in exploding batteries, leaking gas tanks, and sparking engines—all of which can result in large and quickly spreading fires.
- Fuel system leaks
Big consumer trucks and SUVs can carry two or three dozen gallons of gasoline on a full tank. Because gasoline is highly flammable, any sudden leaks—especially when they meet superheated engine parts or sparks—can quickly cause a vehicle to become engulfed in flames. Gasoline can catch fire at 45 degrees Fahrenheit when it meets a single spark, and it can spontaneously ignite at 495 degrees Fahrenheit. Regular maintenance can help you avoid fuel system leaks and potential vehicle fires.
- Electrical system failures
Batteries are essential components inside vehicle engine bays, and they pack enough energy to cause serious trouble if they get damaged or begin leaking fluid. Over time, a defective car battery’s charging cycle can result in the build-up of explosive hydrogen gas inside the engine bay. When faulty or loose wiring produces even a small spark inside the engine bay, it can be enough for the gas to ignite. Heat and sparks can be produced along the entire length of modern vehicles, as all seats, windows, and locks are wired to the electrical systems.
Vehicle fires are emergencies because they can spread quickly and overwhelm vehicle occupants with heat and smoke. To reduce your risk of a vehicle fire, always practice safe driving habits and keep your car, truck, or SUV maintained by regularly replacing the battery and getting regular oil changes. In addition, take your car to a mechanic or service shop immediately if you ever smell gasoline while driving or while walking near your vehicle, as that may indicate a fuel leak.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys know that vehicle fires are just one major risk factor during and after auto accidents. Victims of car crashes often suffer debilitating injuries that can prevent them from working for long periods of time. If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident and are now facing expensive medical bills, get in touch with us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing a free online consultation form.