No one hurt as bus erupts in flames on I-75


Lanes were blocked on Interstate 75 southbound at Mile Marker 393 because of a vehicle fire. (Image courtesy of Gainesville/Alachua County SmartTraffic)

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 5:48 p.m.

A driver was headed south on Interstate 75 to pick up disabled would-be passengers Tuesday afternoon when he realized his mini-bus was on fire.

"I was just driving along when I smelled smoked," said Vincent Hall, 25, still visibly shaken from the ordeal. "I got out as fast as I could and the truck was enflamed within a couple of minutes."

Hall, who was alone on the bus, stopped the burning vehicle on the west shoulder of the highway about three miles north of exit 390, the Northwest 39th Avenue exit.

The bus is owned by MV-Transportation, a company that has a contract with Regional Transit System of Gainesville to transport people with disabilities.

The company would not comment on the cause of the fire due to the investigation being in its early stages, said spokesperson Jennifer Wiley.

"There were no passengers on board. There were no injuries sustained to the driver,'' she said, adding that "the driver followed standard protocol in properly evacuating the vehicle."

Wiley would not say whether the company would be examining other buses in their fleet due to the fire. "The cause of the fire regarding that particular bus is under investigation," she said.

At the scene, Hall stood with his manager Kelly Gonzalez. "I thank everybody for getting out here as fast as they did, said Hall. "Several people pulled over and my GM got here as fast as he could."

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