NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A truck driver who was severely burned when his tanker caught fire Tuesday at a Nashville gas station has died.
The Nashville Fire Department said in a news release Wednesday that 68-year-old William Jerry Dennis of Fayetteville died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from his injures.
Dennis' tanker exploded Tuesday around 8 a.m. at a Raceway service station on Donelson Pike at Interstate 40. Dennis was moving fuel between gas stations' underground tanks when the fuel caught fire, burning him seriously.
"I was driving past the tanker when it exploded and saw the man, who turned out to be the driver of the truck, coming away from the trailer in flames," passerby Mike Sutton said.
Sutton said Dennis, still on fire, screamed for help.
"Me and two other individuals got him down on the ground and put out the flames, and then brought him over here to safety to get away from any subsequent explosion," Sutton said.
Emergency officials quickly transported Dennis to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in critical condition.
The fire department said the cause of the blaze has been listed as accidental.
"The tanker truck was empty, but there were very flammable vapors in the area. We are very fortunate there were no other citizens involved in this fire," said Kim Lawson with the Nashville Fire Department.
The Nashville International Airport reported being able to see the explosion. Emergency crews used foam to put out the fire.
Authorities said the explosion was so intense parts of the truck were burned to the rims. Fire Officials said they did not have to evacuate any of the surrounding businesses in the area. Metro police shut down the northbound lanes of Donelson Pike while crews worked the scene.