BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A man died when the dump truck he was driving overturned and caught fire Monday afternoon on Pineda Causeway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said a tire tread separated on the dump truck, causing the driver to lose control around noon.
"It may have experienced some kind of a tire malfunction or something and caused it to hit the guardrail and subsequently overturn," Lt. Channing Taylor said.
The man died at the scene, the FHP said.
The crash caused a closure of the westbound lanes of Pineda Causeway near Tropical Trail.
Video and photos from the scene show thick black smoke billowing from the flame-engulfed truck. By the time the fire was extinguished, the open-boxed bed and frame were all that remained.
The FHP said an airman from nearby Patrick Air Force Base who was driving in the opposite direction of the crash pulled over and attempted to rescue the driver.
The airman was hurt and was hospitalized after his rescue efforts.
Crash witness and retired Air Force veteran Skip Waddell identified the airman as Sgt. Moon.
"He took the little fire extinguisher we had. He crawled up on top of the truck and tried to get up to the cab because the driver was pinned in. We couldn't get him out," Waddell said.
The FHP said the airman will survive his injuries.