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[ISP] Trailer Fire Occurs on I-70 in Vigo County; No Injuries
Start Date: 5/14/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 5/15/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

Vigo County—This afternoon at 3:16, Indiana State Police Captain Mike Eslinger was eastbound on Interstate 70 near the 8 mile marker and noticed a vehicle on the emergency shoulder that appeared to be on fire. As he pulled in behind the vehicle, Eslinger noticed the fire was coming from the loaded open top produce trailer. ISP Region III dispatch summoned fire units from the Terre Haute City Fire Department, while Eslinger attempted to put out the fire with his fire extinguisher and another extinguisher from a passerby. The fire was initially minimized and ultimately extinguished by the Terre Haute Fire Department, with minimal damage.

Investigation determined the blaze had began in one of the cardboard containers filled with watermelons and had spread to a second container. A tossed cigarette is one theory, but the actual cause is unknown.

The red 1997 Ford F150 pickup was driven by 69-year-old Phillip Fernus of Kokomo, Indiana and he was en route to Kokomo.

ISP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Senior Trooper Byron Goodman conducted an inspection of the vehicle and found the trailer to be overweight. Mr. Fernus was cited for an overweight violation and released. His weight was 8,300 lbs and the legal weight should be 7,000 lbs.

Assisting was ISP Troopers Ritch Reynolds and Michael Featherling.

Under the law, criminal charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Contact Information:
Name: Sergeant Joe Watts
Phone: 765-653-4114
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Police, Indiana State

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