Fire consumes West Point man's truck

Flames pour from Lonnie Taylor's truck, right, and an adjacent one Thursday afternoon.
Staff Writer

An independent West Point trucker loses his rig Thursday when an apparently electrical short sent his truck and an adjacent one up in flames in a truck stop parking lot

Lonnie Taylor, who leases his tractor and trailer to Blair Transportation out of Birmingham, said he'd just picked up a roll of steel at Steel Dynamics and when pulling out, noticed the truck missing.

He pulled into the parking lot at the Chevron on Highway 45 Alternate on the northern edge of West Point and as he was backing into a parking spot, noticed sparks and smoke coming from under the hood.

Before he could go after it with his fire extinguisher, the truck was on fire.
He told a bystander to call 911 and stood by helplessly as his truck and another flatbed owned by Modular Transportation out of Columbus and Grand Rapids, Mich., burned.

"It happened so fast there was nothing I could do," Taylor said as he inspected the burned out cab following the fire, which was reported at about 1:20 p.m.
He said he hoped his brother, who also is a trucker, would carry the trailer, which wasn't damaged, and its roll of steel to its destination in Indiana.
"It was a close call. I feel lucky right now. It could have happened on the road. I just got back from Oklahoma and was on my way to Indiana," said the West Point native who stopped at the truck stop because that's where he leaves his personal vehicle when on the road.

"I'll just see what insurance covers and hopefully can get another truck. I didn't want to get extra time for Memorial Day this way, wanted to get the run in," he said.