Driver trapped in fiery crash with semi dies

Posted at 6:56 AM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 17:41:30-05

FISKBURG, Ky. -- Witnesses were shaken by the horrifying scene -  a driver trapped in a burning pickup early Thursday morning following a crash on KY 17 in Pendleton County.

A nearby resident tried to pull the driver from the vehicle but was pushed back by the flames, they said.

Paul Pfanstiel tried to hold back tears as he described what he saw.

"When I looked over there, there was flames shooting way up,” said Pfanstiel,  a resident for almost 50 years.  He called it the worst accident he has ever seen.

Falmouth Fire Chief David Marquardt was one of the first on scene.

"It’s a horrific thing to happen. I’ve seen it myself and you know the biggest thing is you just try talking to people,” Marquardt said.

The driver's name has not been released.

Kentucky State Police are still trying to figure out what caused the deadly collision about 5 a.m. They said the northbound pickup crossed the center line and crashed into the side of an oncoming semi.

Both vehicles left the road and the semi pinned the burning pickup against a tree. 

Pfanstiel said ice on the road may have contributed to the crash

"They don’t realize it’s slick. There was ice on the road in spots this morning,” he said.

The long-time resident said sharp curves on KY 17 are dangerous.

"When they come around that curve, they don’t have no control," Pfanstiel said

The semi driver was not seriously injured, Marquardt said.

KY 17 (Madison Pike) was closed most of the day in both directions at KY 2046 (Fiskburg Road) as crews worked to clear the scene. It finally reopened in the afternoon.