Tractor-Trailer Crashes, Catches Fire in Lancaster

Driver able to escape cab before it was consumed by fire

All lanes of Interstate 35E near Belt Line Road have reopened in Lancaster after a tractor-trailer crash and fire earlier Tuesday.  

According to investigators, the truck jackknifed and then crashed into the center wall where it caught fire. 

The driver was able to escape the cab before it and the empty trailer were consumed by flames.

The tractor-trailer was the only vehicle involved in the crash.

In the first few minutes following the crash traffic was backed up an estimated four miles, according to Chopper 5 photojournalist Ames Meyer.

Across the access road, people at several businesses heard a loud boom when the crash happened.

They all ran outside and Ted Brooks called 911.

“Unlike something I have ever seen. Just how instantly it started on fire and how fast it was burning,” said Brooks.

Jonathan Haynes ran across the access road and was able to look across the retaining wall and see that the driver had gotten out.

“He was walking. Basically told him you need to move this thing is going to blow up,” said Haynes.

Police are investigating what caused the accident.

I-3E5 reopened just after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.

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