Flat tire sparks tractor trailer fire that closes down a portion of Rte. 481

Published 04/06 2014 01:26PM

Updated 04/06 2014 01:31PM

Tractor trailer fire shuts down highway
Tractor trailer fire shuts down highway/WSYR-TV Newschannel 9 / Kenny Curley

Clay (WSYR-TV) - A portion of Route 481 was shut down in both directions in the Town of Clay on Sunday morning after a tractor trailer caught fire.

Around 9 a.m., state police were called to the southbound lane of the highway, just south of Route 31, where they found smoke billowing from the hauler.

Initially, the southbound lanes were closed to traffic, while crews tried to put out the fire. But, the wind created hazardous conditions, pushing smoke into the opposite lane. As a precaution, the northbound lanes were closed for about half-an-hour.

A trooper investigating the crash said the vehicle had a flat tire under the front end that didn't separate from the tractor-trailer. Instead, it kept flapping and creating sparks.

Heat built up and eventually the trailer got so hot that it caught fire.

A tow truck was on the scene around 1 p.m., hauling away materials. By early afternoon, the closure had been reduced to one southbound lane of Route 481.

An officer said the driver was hauling food for Crete Carrier Corporationl, based in Nebraska.

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