Drivers crossing the Neches River Bridge Tuesday morning, July 16, were in caught in a brief haze of smoke and fire after an 18-wheeler’s braking system malfunctioned.
According to EMS on the scene, first responders arrived on the northern side of Neches River Bridge to find an 18-wheeler’s rear axle smoking.
Firefighters on the scene quickly eliminated any risk of additional fires from the truck, covering the truck’s rear axle in fire retardant.
The driver of the truck, who refused to be identified, said he was coming over the bridge when the his worst nightmare came true.
“I lost air in the system, so ... I didn’t have enough air to brake,” he said.
As he mashed on the brakes to slow his multi-ton momentum, the friction in the rear axle became too hot as the truck barreled down the bridge.
“So, the drums caught on fire,” the driver said.
EMS on the scene said a driver saw the trucker aflame and called 911.
No injuries were reported.