Dump truck catches fire after driving off Turnpike
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Florida Turnpike is back to normal after a dump truck drove off an overpass and caught fire, Wednesday afternoon.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Florida Highway Patrol units responded to the scene of the crash, in the area of Southwest 168th Street, Wednesday afternoon.
The dump truck had a tire blowout, lost control, and went through a guardrail and tumbled down an embankment onto the road below. It burst into flames after leaving one of its axles near the guardrail.
The driver managed to get out of the flaming vehicle. Firefighters arrived soon after to put out the blaze. The blaze was captured on video by several 7News viewers.
Witnesses said the accident sounded like gunfire. "Next thing I knew, the truck had flipped down and flipped over and flipped right side up, and me and this other dude, we ran to the truck to try to help the guy. He was knocked out for 10 seconds, and he took off the seat belt and climbed out the window," said witness Ronny Gercilus.
Another witness, Donald Berry, said, "It was very black, and you could actually feel the flames from a distance away and everything. It was horrible. I was happy that the man was alive."
DERM was also called out to the scene, since a small amount of diesel fuel spilled during the incident.
Officials shut down the Quail Roost Drive exit for northbound drivers on the Florida Turnpike, as they cleaned up and investigated the crash. "It was a very good day. A big heavy truck like that we are always concerned about the drivers on the road way as well as drivers down here on 168th street," said FHP sergeant Tom Pikul. "It's great that nothing else happen that it was a single vehicle accident."
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue checked out the driver on the scene, who only suffered some scrapes and bruises, and he did not need to be transported to the hospital.
According to officials, the driver was saved by the axle that got caught in the concrete of the Turnpike overpass. Instead of falling onto the road, the truck slid down the embankment, and the driver was able to get out safely.
No injuries were reported. All lanes of the Turnpike have since reopened.
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