Greensburg — GREENSBURG – A semi carrying coiled steel left I-74 and caught fire Monday evening, sending the driver to the hospital and shutting down portions of the interstate for a period of time.
Greensburg Fire Chief Scott Chasteen told the Daily News two westbound semis on I-74 collided, sending one off the north side of the interstate at about the 130 ½ mile marker, near Frontage Road. The cab of the truck caught fire and was destroyed by flames during the course of the accident.
EMS personnel found the driver, whose name had yet to be released Monday night, outside of the cab. Chief Chasteen said it could not be determined whether the drive crawled from the wreckage or had been ejected. The driver was conscious and alert at the scene, but was transported via ambulance to Decatur County Memorial Hospital. No word on his condition was available late Monday.
The second semi was also damaged in the accident and had to be removed from the scene, Chasteen said. The driver of that vehicle complained of pain in his arm but declined treatment at the scene.
Chasteen said the Greensburg Fire Department (GFD) had the fire mostly extinguished within about 10 minutes of their arrival on scene. An additional GFD engine and a second tanker were later deployed to ensure firefighters had enough water to douse the flames. The St. Paul Volunteer Fire Department assisted by bringing an additional tanker. Fire crews remained on the scene late Monday night.
Fire and EMS responders were assisted at the scene by members of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department and the Greensburg Police Department. Deputy Rob Goodfellow is leading the investigation.
A portion of I-74 was shut down as fire crews battled the blaze, Chasteen said. Once the flames were extinguished, one lane of the interstate was opened to traffic.
The Daily News will have further details of this accident in the Wednesday, Oct. 16 print edition as well as online at www.greensburgdailynews.com.
Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056