A semi-truck driver died after a fiery crash on Interstate 65, despite the efforts of a good Samaritan who battled smoke and heat to pull him out of the burning vehicle.
The crash happened just after 6 a.m. on southbound I-65, south of the Whiteland exit, killing the driver, 52-year-old Tyrone McKenney, of Quinby, South Carolina.
Police said the semi went off the interstate, hitting a guardrail and going another 50 feet before hitting a tree. The semi then caught fire, and the flames quickly spread to the grass and trees nearby, causing a large fire, according to a news release from Indiana State Police.
As the flames grew, another driver on I-65 came up on the accident, and he told police he just knew he had to stop and help.
Bryan Corns, 56, of Crown Point, climbed up to the cab of the semi to get McKenney man out. Corns was inhaling smoke, covered in liquid from the cab and was nearly burned but still managed to pull McKenney out, the release said.
“I saw the crash and just couldn’t drive by without stopping to help,” he told police according to a news release.
“When I got to the cab of the truck the trailer was blazing, it was burning me, but I knew I had to get him out.”
McKenney was treated by emergency workers and then taken to an area hospital and later died. Police said Corns risked his life to try to save McKenney from burning to death, the release said.
Emergency workers were able to quickly put out the blaze. But clean-up from the crash took several hours, which slowed traffic along the interstate Wednesday morning and early afternoon. Southbound lanes were closed for about an hour and a half after the accident, the release said.
The semi was hauling liquid protein, and no hazardous materials were on board, the release said.