NewsCovering Kern County


Semi carrying cows catches fire, slows traffic on eastbound Highway 58

CHP: One lane shut down for at least another hour
Posted at 11:20 AM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 16:56:25-04

Eastbound lanes on Highway 58 were closed Friday morning after a semi carrying more than 150 cows caught fire, according to California Highway Patrol. 

The driver of a semi carrying the cattle was heading from Hanford to Calipatria on eastbound 58 when he pulled over after he started smelling fuel, according to CHP. 

Around 10:40 a.m., the semi started smoking and flames erupted just west of Bena Road, according to CHP.

The cows were in a trailer that did not catch fire and are unharmed. The wind was blowing in an easterly direction so the flames did not reach the trailer, CHP said.

The driver told 23ABC he was barely able to escape the truck before he realized his puppy, Elvis, was still inside the cab. He ran back into the burning truck, grabbed Elvis and called 911. 

Both lanes were closed while fire crews worked to put out the flames. 

About a half hour later, the left lane reopened.

Traffic was backed up on eastbound 58 for a couple of miles. One lane remained closed for at least another hour.

CHP reported traffic was flowing again just after noon. A clean up crew was on the way for the 5 to 10 gallons of fuel that spilled.