Garbage truck explodes in flames in south Macon

lfabian@macon.comJanuary 16, 2013 

A garbage truck driver ran for his life Wednesday morning after his vehicle exploded in flames on a run in south Macon.

Justin Hill, who drives for Advanced Disposal, stopped for crews to pick up trash in the cul-de-sac at 4685 Pinedale Drive at about 10:40 a.m.

When he put the truck in reverse, he heard the explosion.

“When it exploded, I was siting in the cab and the flames just came through the window and hit me,” Hill said. “I jumped out and ran, and that was it.”

The fire spread from behind him into the cab as he fled down the street along with the workers at the back of the truck.

Marilyn White was inside her south Bibb County home when she heard the truck arrive. She looked out the window in time to see it erupt in flames.

“All of a sudden I heard, ‘kaboom’ and I said, ‘oh, my goodness,’ ” White said. “I grabbed my phone right there and I was afraid to stay in the house with (the fire) being that close because it was all up in the cab. I mean, it was shooting real high.”

The fire spread to her front yard and landscaping.

“My granddaughter had just been out here raking up pine straw and had about three or four different piles over there and I said, ‘Well, we don’t have to pack it up now,’ ” White said as she watched firefighters working in front of her street.

Macon-Bibb fire investigator Sgt. Ben Gleaton determined it was an accidental fire and will turn the investigation over to the insurance company for Advanced Disposal.

“I don’t know if a hydraulic line busted off, or what,” Gleaton said.

Firefighters shoveled sand along the curb to keep hydraulic fluid from running into a storm drain.

No one was hurt in the blast that brought about a dozen neighbors out on the street to see what happened.

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