Pickup Truck w/Missing Wheel Catches Fire


Published on January 30 2017 12:17 pm
Last Updated on January 30 2017 4:55 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A pickup truck traveling along I-57 with its right front tire and right front rim missing caught fire Friday night.

Neoga Fire Depatment was called to the scene at 9:45pm following numerous 911 reports. The scene was along the shoulder of the southbound lanes of the interstate, south of Neoga.

Neoga Assistant Fire Chief Alan Baker said traveling without a wheel eventually caused the engine to blow on the truck, and catch fire. Baker said the truck driver, who is from Texas, said he was traveling to pick up a camper. Baker said the man, whose name was not available, appeared to be heavily intoxicated and was taken to jail.

In the meantime, Neoga firefighters used 750 gallons of water to suppress the fire. Not only were firefighters dealing with the burning pickup truck, they were dealing with two small propane tanks and another fuel tank in the bed of the truck. Once the fire was out, one fire crew stayed on scene until an IDOT crew arrived to put down sand on the driving surface of the road. First, about 200 yards of oil from the pickup truck was on the roadway from when the engine blew, but the water used to put out the fire was freezing on the cold road surface.

Baker said firefighters finally cleared the scene about 12:30am Saturday.

No one was injured in the incident.

Baker said the driver told them he was traveling from Texas to the eastern United States to pick up a camper. He wasn't sure how that would have led the man to be traveling south on I-57 near Neoga. Baker said you hear about these types of things in New York or Los Angeles, not at Neoga.