The driver of an 18-wheeler died in a fiery crash on Interstate 10 in northwest Bexar County early Tuesday morning.
Sheriff's deputies responded to the crash just before 3 a.m. on the westbound lanes of I-10 at Ralph Fair Road.
Deputies believe the driver fell asleep at the wheel, struck a guardrail and bounced from the inside lanes to the outer lanes before the big rig finally came to a stop at an embankment. The tanker then rolled on its side and bursts into flames.
A deputy patrolling Interstate 10 heard the crash and saw an explosion.
"Immediately, he went to the scene to try to rescue the driver. Unfortunately, the flames were just too great and too high for him to get to the cab," Bexar County Sheriff's spokesman Paul Berry.
Sheriff's deputies said the tanker is used to carry crude oil, but was empty Tuesday morning.
"If there is any good news in this, (it's that) the tanker was empty, which prevented an even larger explosion and problem here at the scene," Berry said.
The westbound lanes of Interstate 10 at Ralph Fair Road were shut down and expected to remain closed through rush hour. The eastbound lanes were also shut down for a short time.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. As of Tuesday at noon, his name had not been released.