One person is dead after a SUV crashed into a tractor-trailer and caught fire in Waxahachie Wednesday afternoon, officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety say.[[330149261,R]]
The shell of a jackknifed, burned-out tractor-trailer was all that remained after a fire consumed the vehicle and an SUV on the shoulder of Farm-to-Market Road 1466 about a mile west of Interstate 35E.
DPS officials said the driver of the SUV veered into the oncoming lane and crashed into the tractor-trailer.
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The SUV driver was killed in the crash; the big-rig driver was not injured and was seen talking with investigators at the scene.
The SUV that crossed the center line hit the big rig directly in the gas tank mounted beneath the cab on the driver side, causing a large fireball that burned both vehicles and several acres of a nearby field.
The name of the person who was killed has not yet been released, according to investigators.
Fiery Crash in Waxahachie
The flames from the fire burned the body beyond recognition, according to Trooper James Colunga, and the heat from the fire was so intense it melted the license plate and made the numbers on the plate illegible.
The Waxahachie Daily Light reports several small explosions were heard after the crash.
According to Ellis County Emergency Services, the trailer was carrying guar beans. Guar gum is a byproduct of the beans, and its primary use is in hydraulic fracturing.
Officials say the contents of the trailer did not contribute to the size of the fire. The truck's intended destination has not been confirmed.
A large grass fire, sparked by the crash, scorched 67 acres of Tobey Nealy's ranch on the south side of FM 1446.
From Chopper 5, Nealy and several family members could be seen fighting the fire with shovels, beating at the edge of the fire line to stamp out the fire, as firefighters in pump trucks sprayed water on the advancing flames.
"Let me tell you, it was getting hot with that shovel," Nealy said, his face still covered in soot from the smoke.
Even Nealy's 82-year-old father could be seen stomping on a hot spot to try to snuff out the smoke.
"You do what you can do, right?" Nealy said.
The cause of the SUV to swerve into the oncoming lane prior to the crash has not been determined.
NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.