GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) — The driver of a tanker truck that burst into flames outside Denver was recovering Wednesday after he jumped out of the burning vehicle and tumbled onto a highway as traffic whizzed by.
Video obtained by Denver news station KDVR-TV showed the man having trouble standing and another person running toward him and helping him away from the burning vehicle. Another witness told KMGH-TV that the driver’s leg was on fire.
The fire quickly engulfed the truck and sent a large plume of black smoke billowing into the sky. Firefighters sprayed foam on it and across both sides of Interstate 25 about 12 miles (19 kilometers) south of downtown.
Investigators say the truck lost a tire and crashed into the concrete barrier in the median, but it’s not clear if that ignited the fire. The driver’s condition was not released.
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Shailen Bhatt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, said workers will experience “a pretty snarled p.m. commute” Wednesday.
All northbound lanes near the Denver Tech Center, a group of corporate buildings that line the interstate, were expected to stay closed through the evening.
Crews have opened some southbound lanes, and Bhatt said he was “cautiously optimistic” that all lanes of the interstate will be open by Thursday morning’s commute.