Multiple Love County volunteer fire departments responded to a semi-truck wreck that led to a fast-moving grass fire Tuesday afternoon.
By the time units from Criner Hills, Greenville-Overbook, Lake Murray Village and Marietta Volunteer Fire Departments arrived on scene, around 3:15 p.m., the semi-truck’s cab was fully engulfed in flames, said Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charles Campbell.
The driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle and swerved off Interstate 35, near mile marker 18 in Love County, crashing into a ditch off the side of the road, Campbell said. However, he managed to walk away from the wreckage with only a few minor injuries.
“The truck driver got out before his car even caught on fire,” Campbell said. “I think all he had was a cut on his lip or somewhere on his face and that was it. He wasn’t too bad, he was out of the truck and walking around when we got there.”
The driver was later transported to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. However, firefighters remained on scene as the fire spread nearly an acre past the truck.
The fire was likely caused by a short in the diesel tank following the wreck, Campbell said. “The thing about it is, there’s the hot metal on the muffler and the exhaust and everything and the diesel tank probably had a short after he wrecked it. It shorted out and caught the diesel on fire.”
Campbell said firefighters completely extinguished the fire about 35 to 45 minutes after arriving on scene. Love County EMS, Love County Emergency Management, the Love County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma Department of Transportation also assisted with the accident.
Both lanes of I-35 southbound at mile marker 18 in Love County were temporarily closed down while officials took care of the wreckage and fire. The lanes reopened around 30 minutes later.
“After the truck caught on fire it caught the grass on fire and probably burned about an acre or so, but other than that everything was pretty well done,” Campbell said.