A man died early Saturday after his car collided with a two-tanker semi truck carrying 9,000 gallons of gasoline that burst into flames and spread fire in a Hesperia neighborhood.
Residents who responded to the scene of the crash said they were pushed back by explosions and fire, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
Responding firefighters found two tankers fully aflame with fuel spreading from the intersection of Bear Valley Road and 11th Avenue (map).
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"It was a horrific sight. There was a 9,000 gallons of fuel and it went in both directions. People could see from miles around," said fire department spokeswoman Tracey Martinez.
The fire spread to a nearby home, which sustained minor damage, and across all lanes of Bear Valley Road, a six-lane major thoroughfare. The spilled down a drainage and into vegetation, causing a half-acre brush fire.
Residents of a nearby apartment complex were evacuated, and a nearby animal hospital was damaged by water and smoke.
"The semi truck burned to the ground by the time I got there," Martienz said.
More than 30 county firefighters responded, putting out the blaze within 45 minutes. A foam truck was able to extinguish the fuel fire quickly, Martinez said.
The truck's driver was able to escape the flames but sustained moderate injuries. He was taken to Desert Valley Hospital.
The adult male driver of the small passenger vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. It was not yet clear how the crash occurred, Martinez said.
The collision occurred just before 1 a.m. Saturday on the border of Hesperia and Victorville.
Bear Valley Road was expected to be closed between 9th and 11th avenues for several days for clean-up and road repair, fire officials said.