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A feul tanker exploded after a rollover accident in Spanish Fork on Friday, leaving its driver in critical condition and temporarily shutting down Interstate 15 in both directions.
The accident occurred just before 2:30 p.m. as the tanker left the southbound lanes of the highway to go eastbound on U.S. Highway 6, the Utah Highway Patrol said. The semi, which was hauling gasoline, toppled over and rolled down an embankment before it ignited and exploded.
The driver, Leslie Shelton, 28, of Fruita, Colo., was the only occupant. He suffered serious burns in the accident and was taken by medical helicopter to a hospital in critical condition, UHP said.
Smoke from the blaze following the explosion could be seen for miles, KUTV Channel 2 reported.
In addition to temporarily closing I-15 in both directions at Main Street in Spanish Fork, UHP also closed the off-ramp that connects traffic to U.S. 6 and the on-ramp from U.S. 6 to I-15. The off-ramp remained closed Friday evening as an investigation of the accident continued.
A hazardous materials team was also called to the scene for cleanup.