Dash Cam Video Shows Trucker Caught In Semi Tire Explosion
WEBER COUNTY, Utah – He could smell smoke as he drove north through Weber County on I-15 and he initially believed it was coming from his cruiser.
Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jeremy McKenzie, though, quickly identified a different source: a semi directly in front of him.
“There were flames coming out of the wheel hubs!” McKenzie said. “I initiated my lights and siren to get him to pull over.”
Nobody was prepared for the events that followed on Dec. 8, near the 2700 North exit.
McKenzie, who was in the middle of his day off, jumped out of his car in his gym gear, fire extinguisher in hand, to combat the rapidly spreading fire.
“The fire would instantly start right back and I’m like, ‘I’m fighting a losing battle here!’” McKenzie said.
As he went back to his cruiser to radio for help, McKenzie watched as the truck driver inched closer to the rear wheels of the semi-trailer with his own extinguisher.
“I saw him go under the trailer trying to put the flames out and that’s when the tire just exploded!” McKenzie recalled.
Video recorded by a dash camera showed the driver stumble away from the trailer before a second tire exploded.
“He’d injured his leg and he took a couple more steps and he fell back down to the ground,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie jumped out to help get the man away from the burning trailer.
“(I) went and grabbed him under his arms and tried to drag him further back from the semi in case any other ones blew,” he said.
Three other people pulled over and helped lift the driver to safety, according to the trooper.
“Anytime you’re able to help somebody is a great day,” McKenzie said.
Troopers said the man, who had to be taken to the hospital, is now home and extremely grateful for McKenzie’s actions.
The explosion permanently damaged McKenzie’s dash cam system.
“It actually instantly blurred my camera system,” he said. “I could feel it. (I) thought my windshield was going to come through. It was really intense!”
The trooper chalks the ordeal up to a lesson learned about truck tires.
“I honestly was not thinking about the tires blowing up,” McKenzie said. “When they go, it’s bad.”
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