A 64-YEAR-OLD male truck driver was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after his semitrailer ignited in a ball of fire on the Great Western Highway east of Bathurst.
Emergency services were called to Meadow Flat at 6.55am with reports that a truck carrying a load of cardboard was on fire.
Chifley Police District Highway Patrol Sergeant Glen Crawford said the truck was travelling west when grey smoke started coming out from under the dashboard.
The driver quickly stopped the truck and jumped out of the cabin as it caught on fire.
NSW Rural Fire Service Chifley/Lithgow team operational officer Brett Taylor said multiple firefighting units and a bulk water tanker were sent to the scene.
“We had to get in a front-end loader to pull it [the cardboard] out because we couldn’t get to the fire,” he said.
The truck and trailer were totally destroyed in the blaze.
Sergeant Crawford said the cause of the blaze is unknown, however, it has left the highway severely damaged.
“The road is damaged because of the heat and diesel, it’ll be closed for some time and there will be some emergency roadworks,” he said.
The truck driver was from Penrith in Sydney and he was taken to Lithgow Hospital for observation following the accident.
NSW Rural Fire Service crews from Sunny Corner, Portland and Yetholme, along with Fire and Rescue NSW crews attended the incident.