Rush-hour fire means smoky U.S. 181 commute
WILLIAM J. GIBBS JR./Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
A firefighter hoses down a mangled Ford Ranger that rolled into an embankment Aug. 8 on southbound U.S. 181.
Wilson County News
August 8, 2011, 6:30pm
FLORESVILLE -- A blown tire is being eyed as the cause of a one-vehicle crash and fire Aug. 8 on U.S. 181 north of here.
Trooper Michael Baumann of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol said 43-year-old Gearis Charles Herndon of Floresville was traveling southbound in a Ford Ranger pickup truck at approximately 4:15 p.m. when it is believed that one of the truck’s front tires blew out. This, Baumann said, caused Herndon to lose control of the pickup truck, which skidded into a guardrail. The truck then rolled down an embankment, coming to rest on its wheels before bursting into flames.
The blaze quickly spread into nearby brush. Firefighters from both stations of the Floresville Volunteer Fire Department battled the flames amid the 100-plus degree daytime heat. Baumann said that Herndon, who escaped the wreckage with minor injuries, was trans-ported via ambulance to the Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville. As of 6:15 p.m., his condition was unavailable.
Baumann urges drivers to be mindful of the condition of their vehicle’s tires amid sweltering summertime temperatures. Because the pavement is often hotter than the actual air temperature, dry, cracked rubber on tires can separate and cause dangerous blowouts.
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