Towed Jeep catches fire, driver of towing vehicle flees | Police Fire

The Festus Fire Department got a call about the vehicle fire at approximately 2:20 p.m., Chief Jeff Broombaugh said.

“A car was towing another vehicle on southbound I-55 just north of Hwy. A when a (Missouri State Highway Patrol) trooper followed it after seeing smoke from the towed vehicle,” Broombaugh said. “(The driver) pulled over. The state trooper tried to put (the fire) out with an extinguisher but could not.

“Herculaneum was first on the scene; then I got there. It was already about 50-percent involved. The gas tank had ruptured and was leaking gas. We got it out and remained on scene for about an hour.”

Broombaugh estimated traffic on I-55 southbound was stopped for 20 to 30 minutes.

The Jeep was destroyed by the fire and nothing else is known about the vehicle, he said.

No firefighters were injured during the incident, he added.

Cpl. Dallas Thompson, spokesperson for the Highway Patrol, said the trooper was busy dealing with the fire while the male driver fled.

“The driver unhooked and pulled forward from the (Jeep),” Thompson said. “The trooper turned to talk to fire personnel and the driver took off.”

Thompson said the matter remains under investigation, but the condition of the Jeep after the fire left little evidence behind.

The Festus and Herculaneum fire departments extinguished the car fire.


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