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Trucker burned after van loses wheel, causing massive tanker fire 

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A truck driver was flown to the hospital with burns after a collision with a wheel from a van sent his rig up in flames. 

The accident happened on Tuesday morning, June 21st at around 9:45 a.m. in Sheridan, New York. 

According to Observer Today, a tanker truck was traveling on the Route 20 bridge over Interstate 90 when a van traveling on the roadway lost a wheel, which struck the tanker truck. The force of the impact then sent the tanker truck crashing into a pickup truck, causing the tanker truck to catch fire and explode. The massive flames could be seen from afar as crews worked to put out the flames. 

The truck driver was flown to a nearby hospital for treatment of burns sustained in the wreck. The pickup driver was not notably injured. Injuries sustained by the van driver were not reported, and the motorist fled the scene in the damaged vehicle. The driver then attempted to hide the van from officers and ran away, presumably on foot. The van was found by officers some time later, but the driver was nowhere to be found. As of late Tuesday afternoon police were still searching for the motorist. 

“We got a little bit of water on it and got it [the fire] out,” said Sheridan Fire Chief Mitchell Magierski of the fire. 

“They ended up flying out the driver of the tanker. The driver of the pickup truck, he was up walking around, he was mobile.” Magierski says that he does not believe that the burns suffered by the truck driver were life threatening. 

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within a half hour of the wreck. Route 20 was closed for cleanup for several hours, but was reopened at around 5 p.m. that evening. 

“The way the tanker was over the Thruway bridge, I didn’t want anything to happen, so I shut down the Thruway,” Magierski said.

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