Fiery crash slows I-40 for much of the day - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fiery crash slows I-40 for much of the day

Twisted, smoldering metal was the only thing left of one tractor-trailer after this wreck. It looked like a bomb went off in the middle of Interstate 40.

"Very, very fiery," said Trooper Andrew Rhew with the Arkansas State Police. "This is the worst fire-related wreck that I've seen in my tenure with state police," he added.

Troopers say it happened a little after 2:00 PM Wednesday at mile-marker 217 near the town of Brinkley. AR. One 18-wheeler slammed into the rear of another one. It was parked in the emergency lane at the time of the crash.

"It hit against that back part there and just flied up into the air--boom!" recalled one eyewitness.

That truck burst into flames after landing in the median. It's payload of crude oil fueled a massive fire. It burned the other truck and more than an acre of surrounding grass and brush.

"It was awful, absolutely awful," said eyewitness Jack Moseley.

Moseley rescued one of the truck drivers moments after impact.

"I came upon him--he was in pretty bad shape and asked me to get his dog out," recalled Moseley.

Incredibly, both drivers and the dog survived the crash. Attention quickly turned to finding out why one of the truckers careened into the other.

"Might have snuck up on him, maybe he had problems with his truck," said trucker Michael Karasek. "Blew a tire, hit a piece of steel, something that drove him into there," he added.

That's something Arkansas State Police will try and piece together. Both their investigation and possible charges are pending. The names of the two truck drivers had not been released as of Wednesday night.

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