LOUISIANA – A semi-truck driver and a Louisiana trooper ended up in the hospital after a shocking crash on I-12 on Friday morning.
The crash happened when a tanker semi-truck that was hauling hazmat material collided with the rear of an LSP patrol vehicle that was stopped on the I-12 shoulder near mile marker 19 in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. The LSP vehicle had its emergency lights on while using radar to enforce the speed limit when the tanker left the roadway and hit rear-ended the patrol car.
The truck was heading Eastbound at the time of the accident. After the accident at around 4:30 a.m., both Eastbound lanes were closed at the Walker exit.
Official report says that the trucker started to switch lanes when one of the tires blew. This caused the driver to lose control of the truck, which resulted in the crash.
As a result of the collision, the hazmat material hauled by the semi ignited. Videos from the scene show the flames reaching into the sky as high as the nearby pine trees.
It is unclear whether the tanker trailer exploded or caught fire after the impact. The crash reportedly resonated miles away from the scene, which suggests the tanker exploded. Still, no official record confirms this.
Firefighters battled with the fire for almost two hours, finally putting the fire out at around 6:30 a.m.
Official personnel is still trying to identify what hazmat material was in the tanker that got out during the explosion. However, even though the accident involved the burning of a substantial amount of hazmat material, officials reassure locals that they are safe and there is no need for local evacuations.
From the crash and subsequent fire, the truck driver suffered second-degree burns to his hand and flash burns to his head and face. However, he is reportedly in stable condition.
The Louisiana trooper reportedly suffered minor lacerations and a suspected concussion from the accident.
Both the trooper and the truck driver were taken to local hospitals to receive treatment.
Officials claim that the trooper is “lucky to be alive” since the patrol car was completely demolished during the accident.
The interstate was reopened at around 10:15 a.m. on Friday.