RENSSELAER —- At about evening 5:40 p.m. Sunday, an Indiana State Trooper who was off duty saw a semi on I-65 that was smoking heavily from its rear axle that caught fire, said Sgt. Ann Wojas, Lowell Post spokespersson.
Trooper Mason Wiley, a trooper from the Lafayette District, who was off duty was south bound on I-65 near the 209 mile marker (this is approximately 6 miles south of the Rensselaer exit) when he saw a semi-tractor pulling a box trailer that was north bound smoking heavily from the rear axle.
Trooper Wiley turned around in the cross over on I-65 and stopped the semi on the right shoulder at the 209 ½ mile marker.
By this time the brakes on the semi-trailer were on fire and spreading to the trailer itself.
The driver failed to release the brakes causing them to spark fire. The rear tires exploded due to the heat from the brake fire.
The driver, Quiner Louis, 31 of Boynton Beach, Florida, who was driving a 2013 Freightliner, owned by Balkan Logistics Group out of Countryside, Illinois, and loaded with 38,000 pounds of frozen bagels, was able to disconnect the tractor from the trailer, Wojas said in a news release.
The fire department was able to extinguish the trailer fire.
The right lane was closed until approximately 1:00 a.m., for removal of the trailer and clean-up of the roadway.
Assisting: Marion Township Fire, Carpenter Township Fire Department, Rensselaer Fire, Cheever’s Towing and Republic Services