GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Officials have reopened Interstate 20 on Thursday in Longview after a vehicle towing NASCAR stock cars caught on fire and temporarily delayed traffic.
The wreck occurred in the westbound lanes of Interstate 20, near Estes Parkway at Mile Marker 595, the same area where a fatal crash occurred earlier that morning.
Michael Dennis Smith, who was driving the vehicle that caught on fire, said he and another person in the vehicle were uninjured. Smith pulled over when he saw smoke, and then he and his passenger began detaching the trailer from the cab. He said the fire was around the back of a race car and did not reach the cab.
"Tried to get the fire extinguishers, open the gate, but it was too much. We unhooked the truck, some nice people stopped and called 911 for us, and we waited for the fire department," Smith said.
According to Smith, the trailer he was hauling had two NASCAR stock cars, both labeled No. 46. The cars were headed to Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas for a weekend race.
The trailer also contained five gallons of fuel for a generator on board. The generator was not running at the time of the incident. Officials also say there was no fuel in the cars on the trailer.
Longview and Kilgore and Lakeport emergency workers responded to the scene and westbound traffic on the interstate was shut down. Traffic is being detoured to Loop 281, onto Highway 31 and back to Interstate 20. Drivers say over a million dollars worth of equipment was destroyed.
The cause of the fire in under investigation.