By Greg Bird
A McCreary County man was severely burned following a car fire on U.S. 27 in Parkers Lake Tuesday afternoon.
According to Whitley City Fire Department Chief Tony Miller the victim, identified as Louie Tucker, was traveling southbound on U.S. 27 with a recently filled propane tank stored in the trunk of his vehicle. Apparently there was either a fault in the tank, or it wasn’t closed properly, as it was allowing the gas to escape and permeate the vehicle. Tucker reportedly attempted to light a cigarette in the closed space, causing a flash fire. The blast had enough concussive force to blow out the sunroof of the vehicle, which fortunately allowed Tucker to escape, suffering burns in the process. The vehicle continued to roll down U.S. 27 before striking a guard-rail on the opposite side of the road, where it came to rest. The fire burning inside the car eventually caused the propane tank to build up more pressure than it could handle – causing it to explode. Members of the Whitley City and North McCreary Fire Departments managed to extinguish the fire. McCreary County EMS treated Tucker at the scene and he was later transported by a medical evacuation helicopter for further treatment of his injuries and burns.