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GRANTSVILLE, Tooele County — One man was hospitalized with life-threatening burns after a semitruck caught on fire on I-80 late Tuesday night, officials say.
Just after 11 p.m., a fire broke out in the engine of the man’s truck in which he was sleeping on the I-80 off-ramp at exit 56, about 30 miles west of Grantsville in Tooele County, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jared Green.
The fire spread into the cab of the truck where the man was sleeping. He woke up and was able to maneuver through the flames to get out of the truck, UHP officials said. The cause of the fire is unknown.
The man, who had second- and third-degree burns, was flown in a medical helicopter to a hospital, Green added.
As of 3 a.m., the driver was “doing OK,” according to Green. He did not identify the driver and did not elaborate on the nature of his injuries.
The semitruck was hauling plastic pallets, and the fire spread rapidly, Green said. The cab of the vehicle was completely burned, and most of the trailer was consumed as well, he said.
He said the situation could have been a lot worse had the flames and smoke not awakened the driver.
The exit was briefly closed as a result of the fire, but had reopened as of 7 a.m.
Contributing: Alexis Pineiro, KSL