(KSL) Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jeremy McKenzie could smell smoke as he drove north through Weber County on I-15 on December 8th.
He initially believed it was coming from his cruiser.
McKenzie, though, quickly identified a different source: a semi directly in front of him.
“There were flames coming out of the wheel hubs!” McKenzie says. “I initiated my lights and siren to get him to pull over.”
McKenzie, who was in the middle of his day off, jumped out of his car in his gym gear, fire extinguisher in hand, to combat the rapidly spreading fire.
“The fire would instantly start right back and I’m like, ‘I’m fighting a losing battle here!'” McKenzie recalls.
As he went back to his cruiser to radio for help, McKenzie watched as the truck driver inched closer to the rear wheels of the semi-trailer with his own extinguisher.
“I saw him go under the trailer trying to put the flames out and that’s when the tire just exploded!” McKenzie says.
Video recorded by a dash camera showed the driver stumble away from the trailer before a second tire exploded.