MIAMI (WSVN) - A semi-truck driver, a Florida rapper and two other people are lucky to be alive after a crash along State Road 112 in Miami ended in flames.
City of Miami Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene along the eastbound lanes of the highway near Northwest 17th Avenue, just after 3:30 a.m., Thursday.
Officials said the crash involved an SUV and a tanker truck carrying over 100 gallons of fuel.
Video showed large flames and loud booms coming from the 18-wheeler.
Florida Highway Patrol said the tractor-trailer and an SUV collided. The driver of the tractor-trailer lost control and hit a concrete barrier wall, spilling fuel onto the road and igniting the flames.
Inside the SUV was rapper Tafia and two of his friends.
Speaking through a translator, the truck driver thought he was going to die.
“I thought everything ended in that moment,” he said.
A 7News viewer who lives nearby is one of the people who called 911.
“It sounded like a bomb went off, actually,” said Willie McLeod. “I ran outside, I ran down to the corner, and I could see the flames coming up. Then, I heard explosions, three explosions back to back.”
“When we arrived on the 112 eastbound, we encountered a tractor-trailer that had sideswiped another vehicle heading eastbound and jackknifed itself onto the median, lodging itself on both lanes and becoming completely engulfed in flames,” said Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Pete Sanchez.
The truck driver said he was able to get out just in time.
“I was able to kick the door open, jump out of the truck, and that’s when it exploded into flames,” he said.
7News cameras captured the firefighters spraying foam on the vehicles to extinguish the blaze.
“We had one of our regular suppressions arrive first, so they began to do their assessment,” said Sanchez. “They immediately advised the hazmat team of what they had, so they’ll do water and foam at the same time. Then at the end of it, it’s more of a foam operation because that’s really what stops the fuel from leaking.”
Officials said all occupants of both vehicles involved made it out safely. The driver of the tractor-trailer suffered minor burns.
“There was over 100 gallons of fuel that had spilled and ignited,” Sanchez said. “We had about 15 feet of flames in the air, and as you see by videos, it was a very, very intense, very fierce fire.”
The truck driver said he’s shaken but thankful to be alive.
“I feel good. A little bit hurt and nervous, but I feel good,” he said.
Tafia was treated at the scene for a cut to the elbow and later went to the hospital. He later posted a message on Instagram that reads, “Leaving the hospital. Thank y’all for the love! I’m big taf doe. 18 wheeler can’t take me out.”
Cleanup crews worked to clear the scene.
Miami-Dade County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management was called out to the scene to assess the potential environmental impact of the fuel spill.
Officials completely shut down the highway from Northwest 17th Avenue to 22nd Avenue for several hours while hazmat crews cleaned up all the fuel that spilled onto the roadway. It has since reopened.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
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