COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The driver of a tractor trailer was killed early Sunday morning following a crash on I-95 in Colleton County.
The crash happened in the northbound lanes just after 3:00 a.m. near mile marker 60, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Troopers say a tractor trailer was traveling on I-95 when it ran off the left side of the roadway into the median, struck a tree and caught fire.
According to crews with Colleton County Fire-Rescue, crews found the cab fully involved and the surrounding woods were on fire when they arrived at the crash site. They say diesel fuel also covered the roadway.
A 30-year-old man was found near the crash with multiple traumatic injuries and burns. He told crews that he was the passenger in the truck and said that the driver was unaccounted for, fire-rescue crews stated.
The man was transported to the trauma center at the Medical University of South Carolina for immediate treatment.
Meanwhile, officials said the flames were burning against the front of the tractor trailer, and under the container which ignited the load inside the container.
Firefighter-Paramedics had the fire knocked down within 15 minutes and it was then they located the body of the driver in the wreckage.
Crews used a K-12 circular saw to cut an access hole into the front of the container. It was packed from the floor to ceiling, front to back with boxes of freezer units.
The units were burning inside the front of the container, and crews cut access holes into the roof and doused the flames from there as well. The fire was completely extinguished about an hour later.
Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey is working to the driver and the trucking company.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the collision. They believe the truck experienced a front tire blowout, which caused it to enter the wooded area. It struck several trees and suffered heavy damage before bursting into flames.