Fiery crash leaves one dead, sets trees ablaze

The driver of a tractor trailer stood on the side of the road, wrapped in a sheet, and watched as his semi truck burned.

It was all he could do after a fiery car accident left another driver dead. The impact was so forceful that both vehicles erupted and flames, which then set nearby trees on fire. The massive accident shut down traffic in both directions for several hours.

The crash occurred on Friday morning at around 7:30 a.m. on State Road 123 near the Elgin Air Force Base. A pickup truck was reportedly traveling south on the road, crossed the yellow double line and collided with the tractor trailer, which was headed north.

Both vehicles immediately caught on fire. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the pickup truck driver became trapped in his vehicle as the fire engulfed it. Officials were not sure, but he may have been killed upon impact. According to Northwest Florida Daily News, crews tried to help the pickup truck driver get out of the vehicle, but they were unable to do so. The body of the 20-year-old man, who was from Crestview, was taken to the medical examiner’s office.

The driver of the tractor trailer, who is from Alabama, managed to exit his truck and was not hurt. He had been wearing a seatbelt, as was the other driver, the Florida Highway Patrol says.

What had begun as a routine morning ended up as a tragic day.

Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, “Semi and vehicle on fire after crash; State Road 123 shut down in both directions,” Wendy Victoria, Dec. 23, 2011