On Saturday, September 7th, emergency crews were called to the scene of a fiery crash along Highway 50, south of Lake Tahoe near Myers, leaving one person dead.
The CBS Local station in Sacramento reports that the fatal crash happened near Elks Club Drive at approximately 11:40 a.m. when a commercial tractor-trailer rig overturned and exploded on the bridge that goes over the Upper Truckee River.
Officials say that the big rig collided with another passenger vehicle, and it also caught fire. The flames from the crash spread to nearby grass, trees, and other vegetation.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver died at the scene of the crash. His identity has not been released pending notification of family members.
The driver of the passenger vehicle was taken to an area hospital for treatment. Their current condition has not been released by authorities.
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Eyewitness Julie Bethel told KCRA Channel 3 reporters that she and her husband had been following the tanker when the crash happened. Because the big rig was a tanker hauling petroleum products, the Bethels thought it was a good idea to stay further back from the big rig. It was a decision that probably saved both of their lives.
“It was in an instant,” Bethel said. “I looked up from my phone, saw he was fishtailing and was like, ‘Oh my God.’ Then poof, he was on fire that quick, Bethel said.