FORT COLLINS - A semi-trailer hauling ice cream on southbound Interstate 25 rear-ended another tractor-trailer, crashed and then burst into flames Thursday morning.
The 11:30 a.m. crash, fire and ensuing diesel fuel cleanup was expected to keep southbound Interstate 25 closed for more than three hours. The crash occurred just south of the Mountain Vista exit northwest of Fort Collins. Although southbound I-25 traffic is being detoured around the crash by exit ramps, there are significant backups in the area.
The Colorado State Patrol said the two trucks were traveling south on I-25 when one rear-ended the other, shoving the second truck's front end beneath the trailer of the leading truck. That collision shattered the fiberglass front of the second truck and left a fist-sized gouge in the concrete roadway.
Troopers said the second semi careened to the west side of the road and burst into flames, setting off a small grass fire. The first truck stopped in the left lane a few hundred feet from the collision point.
Neither driver was seriously injured, CSP said.
Poudre Fire Authority expected to work several hours to extract diesel from the saddle tanks of the smoldering semi. Firefighters worked to extinguish the flames from the fully engulfed trailer for roughly half an hour, eventually quelling the blaze that sent a up thick, black column of smoke that was clearly visible from Fort Collins.
Witnesses said the semi-trailer was hauling a load that included ice cream, which melted in the heat.
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