Local News

Discarded cigarette ignites truck carrying hay on I-40

Posted April 16, 2012

— A pickup truck hauling hay on Interstate 40 Monday evening burst into flames near the Wake County/Johnston County line, according to the state Highway Patrol.

A discarded cigarette is being blamed for the fire.

All eastbound lanes were closed for about two hours at mile marker 308 near Garner, causing major traffic delays in the area. All lanes reopened around 9 p.m.

truck fire Hay-hauling pickup bursts into flames on I-40

Vehicles were backed up for at least 3 miles at one point.

No one was injured.

Garner fire Capt. Bud Davenport said the blaze burnt through 108 bales of hay.

"The fire was intense," he said. "Someone threw a cigarette (and)  flicked it to a trailer."

Witness reported seeing someone discard the cigarette from a passing car.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 18, 2012

    @TrixRidesAgain, I’m not sure how much the Swat-A-Litterbug educational program (that merely snail mails a letter) costs us. But, I do know that it costs NC $10 Million per year to pay public workers to clean up everyone’s trash.

    And, what’s a clean state worth to us? Will we get more movies made here? Will people wanting a higher quality of life move here? Will we get more satisfaction of living here when there isn’t trash along every roadside?

    If you have a better/cheaper idea, let’s have it. I’ve Adopted-A-Highway and reported litterers with Swat-A-Litterbug...and neither of these initiatives seems expensive. How about you?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 18, 2012

    @jjordan, when you report a license plate on the Swat-A-Literbug website, the car owner gets a letter not an actual fine. As I understand it, the driver is responsible for all litter from the vehicle...whether it comes from another passenger or an open truck bed.

    Check out the previous Swat-A-Litterbug link posted here and you'll see the letter, the form and the law reference. Maybe you'll even start reporting the litterers with us. :-)

  • mollieelmore Apr 18, 2012

    just saying cow manure causes for air pollution that any of the millions of smokers, also you can thank Mr Rj R of Camel for giving you such a beautiful state, North Carolina is also know as the tobacco state, considering how much revenue the selling of cigarettes brings to our state,... your welcome. Stop complaining its an accident happens all the time, thats why they are called accidents, you can continue to take peoples rights away, if they want to smoke they have that right, now littering, that another story that some none smokers throw trash out the window so just say smokers are nasty people thats like saying someone who drinks is a dirty person, You cant take away or ban peoples rights. it wont work.

  • jjordan231179 Apr 18, 2012

    How are you going to prove who was actaully driving the car you are reporting? jjordan231179 Its not my job to prove who was driving, its the car owners job to prove they weren't and who was at the time, the owner of the car should be responsible anyway for whoever is driving their car. It is considered reckless and littering, they should be fined!
    April 17, 2012 1:20 p.m.
    Report abuse

    This is a lie. This means I could report ANYONE for throwing ANYTHING out and you want to fine them? HOW DO YOU PROVE IT? I can say YOU threw a cigarette out and you will get fined? The driver of the car? What if a passenger throws it out? WHo gets the fine? The driver? What if the person that reported it is lying? Who proves it? Whats your IQ?

  • ladyblue Apr 17, 2012

    I've heard smokers called many things even addicts now..Well as they say once you smoked and quit you are and always will be an addict just like other drugs. There is only one reason someone thows a cigarette or anything else for that matter, out of a vehicle window and that is CARELESSNESS and not caring whose lives or property they damage. Being an active smoker an ex smoker or not having ash trays is not an excuse. I've seen some do it with the child sitting in the back of car in car seat.DUH you open window to toss and have possibility that thing canland in the back seat on the kid.

  • cocoaandme98 Apr 17, 2012

    I remember when the six horses were killed in Nash County due to the carelessness of a smoker. That was a sad, sad day. It's awful to think of how they must have suffered. People, please be careful. Please don't throw those cigarette butts out the window. It's a matter of life and death.

  • SpaceCowboy Apr 17, 2012

    "He probably did this because you were tailgating. Next time keep a safe distance when driving and it will never happen again."Another brilliant comment. Hammerhead

    huh? You weren't there and you don't know me. What is up with this site, people just insult strangers? Did I hit on a nerve? Sorry. But listen, when someone throws a half a cigerette (and it was) out the window, where do you think it goes? I don't tailgate, no way in this state, where people don't have properly working equipment and if they do they don't use turn signals or have stuff forever falling out of their truck.

    So if I hit a nerve you may want to think about that and ask yourself why 8-) It may not be my fault.

  • tobykat Apr 17, 2012

    Wow! Loads of hypercritical, judgmental comments on here from the non-smoking zealots. Dang folks, take it down an notch or ten.

  • GoGreen Apr 17, 2012

    THIS is why I have no pity on the war all forms of government are waging on smokers. I don't really care if you smoke, your business. But >> 90% of smokers flick their buts out the window. I hope they make it illegal to smoke, period.

  • lovethemoment Apr 17, 2012

    I agree that the penalties for those caught throwing cigaretts out the window are not tough enough. That is something that needs to be looked into a fines being assessed, otherwise, they will never stop if all they get is a letter and a trash bag. Honestly, I don't think fines will make them stop either but atleast the city will be getting more money from their iggnorant behavior.