The incident occurred in the far right-hand lane of Interstate 20 as trucks were slowing down to exit through the weigh station between the Lee Road and Thornton Road exits in eastern Douglas County, reported county spokesman Wes Tallon.
According to witnesses, a truck slowed down for traffic exiting to the Weigh Station, and a second truck slammed into its rear. Two other tractor-trailers then hit the backs of the trailers of the trucks in front of them, Tallon said.
The cab of the second truck was engulfed in flames, and the driver was unable to escape the badly damaged truck cab, Tallon said. Nine "good Samaritans" then stopped their vehicles along the interstate and risked injuries to themselves to pull the truck driver to safety, he said.
Two Douglas County sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene in time to assist with the final extraction. The driver's clothing was on fire when he was rescued, Tallon said
There was significant damage to all four trucks, and the debris from the trucks stretched across all lanes of I-20 eastbound. Workers from Douglas County Fire/EMS Department's Rescue One vehicle treated the injured truck driver on the scene and transported him to Grady Hospital's Burn Unit in Atlanta.
The rescue unit apparently struck debris and began the trip with a flat tire. However, workers drove the complete length of the rescue to Grady on a flat tire since the condition of the patient was determined to be serious and possibly life threatening. Paramedics worked on the patient during the complete trip, Tallon said.