Truck filled with frozen food catches fire, closes part of Hwy 321 in Hickory
HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - Part of Highway 321 was shut down in Hickory Tuesday morning after a frozen food truck caught fire.
It happened on Highway 321 northbound at Interstate 40. Troopers say the brakes of the truck caught fire. Long haul trucker Kevin Bowser had traveled a long way since the weekend.
"We came from Minneapolis," he said.
He and his co-driver were just a few miles from their destination in Hickory where they planned to offload 31,000 pounds of frozen breakfast food. Then something happened.
"The brakes caught fire," said Bowser.
He pulled the tractor-trailer onto the shoulder of Highway 321 and tried to put the fire out. Two passersby tried as well. They couldn't. Fire crews were there in minutes, but by that time the trailer was engulfed in flames.
Bowser did manage to unhook the truck and move it away from the flames, but the trailer and the ten tons of food on board were destroyed.
Because water from firefighting efforts covered the road and froze, DOT was called in to spread salt and sand. Heavy equipment was also brought in to offload the food and haul the wreckage away. It took hours to get it all done.
The food could not be saved and was taken to a landfill. Highway Patrol is investigating.
It is not known what caused the brakes to lock up and catch fire. Authorities say they may never be able to pinpoint the cause.
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