Utah trucker called hero for driving off with burning trailer

| 3/2/2009

Police and fire officials in Ripon, CA, credit a trucker with preventing a potential disaster.

The Modesto Bee reported that 49-year-old Randy Jack of Salt Lake City woke up at 4 a.m. on Feb. 26 to discover his trailer was on fire.

The truck was parked next to dozens of other rigs at the Flying J Travel Plaza in Ripon, CA. Instead of abandoning the truck, Jack drove it out of the truck stop and onto an empty street where the trailer burned intensely until firefighters arrived. The Bee reported that the trailer contained chemicals, including 908 pounds of sodium hydroxide and 612 pounds of industrial-strength bleach,

The police chief said Jack displayed courage and common sense in preventing a major disaster.

“When he discovered that his trailer was on fire, he started his truck … because he knew of the hazards where it was and pulled it out to a safe area to abandon it,” Richard Bull, the police chief, told Reed Black on Land Line Now. “To us he’s a hero.”

But Jack gave credit to the first responders.

“I think that the real heroes there are the firemen and policemen and all of the first responders,” Jack told Black on Land Line Now. “They were really fast and did a really professional job. Those guys are the ones that put their lives on the line every day.”

Jack said the firemen saved his tractor.

Ripon’s police chief said Jack wanted to pull the trailer even farther from the truck stop than he did but that police officers talked him out of it.

While they were having that talk, the burning trailer broke in half.