Many stop to help driver after semi accident - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Many stop to help driver after semi accident

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LINN COUNTY (KWWL) -

A semi accident  ended in a fire and blocked off traffic for hours Friday morning just after 7a.m.

It happened on Highway 151 northbound between Marion and Springville, in Linn County.

Despite almost nothing being left of the semi, the driver is alive and well.

The driver's dog however, died in the fire.

 "We couldn't get close enough to get to the dog and it upset us both, it's never good to see you know a living creature die in a fire, but you know we tried our best," said Ron French, who stopped to help the driver.

French's morning started off normal. "Got my coffee and was headed to work," he said.

Things quickly changed.

"I was just going down the road and all the sudden a horrendously huge fire ball went up in the sky, I'm gonna say a few hundred yards in front of me," said French.

When he saw the fire he stopped to help.

"I was thinking to worse, because there was already so much flamage in the cab," he told us.

Ron French happens to be the assistant fire chief in Anamosa and a volunteer firefighter in Marion.

French has both sets of gear with him, and saw another man who had stopped to help.

"I motioned for him to come over because I had my other set of gear so he could at least get a coat put on," he said.

Together they checked on the driver and tried to save the dog.

French had his radio on him and was able to call for help, he told me he has been fighting fires for over 20 years, and has never seen an explosion like the one he saw from this crashed semi.

"As bad as what the accident was, you know other than the dog passing away, you know the outcome was probably the best it could have been," French said.

Authorities told us a lot of other people also stopped to make sure the man was okay.

The driver claims he saw an animal near the road, turned to look for a second, and had drifted off.

A bridge inspector had to look at the bridge because of the semi's impact.

The crash broke a guard rail and knocked off some concrete.

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