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A cadet was injured late Monday afternoon, June 10, when the dump truck he was driving went off Highway 21 north of Highway B near Hillsboro and landed in a ravine, where it caught fire, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported.

At 4:35 p.m., 58-year-old Emmett R. Gaddy, Cadet, was driving his 1999 Freightliner southbound when the dump truck developed a flat tire, left the highway and went down an embankment, striking several trees, according to the report.

Gaddy suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance from Valle to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, the report said.

Hillsboro Fire Chief Brian Gaudet said firefighters arrived at the scene at 4:40 p.m.

“They found a burning dump truck about 120 meters down a ravine in a wooded area. The driver was trapped and couldn’t get out of the vehicle,” said Gaudet. “It was quite difficult to fight a fire so far from the road. Then we had to remove a door with rescue shears.”

Gaudet said firefighters used a fire extinguisher while rolling out a hose.

“The fire extinguisher was quickly deployed to keep the fire away from the driver while a hose was deployed to extinguish the remaining fire,” Gaudet said. “At 4:54 p.m., the victim was extricated from the dump truck and was able to walk up the hill to the highway under his own power.”

Gaudet said southbound Highway 21 was closed at 6:15 p.m. so a tow truck company could recover the dump truck from the ravine. Firefighters from Hillsboro and Mapaville cut down several trees to clear a path for the tow truck.

“Normally, rescue teams disconnect the batteries of vehicles involved in an accident, but due to the position of the vehicle, we were unable to do so,” said Gaudet. “As a result, the dump truck caught fire again while being transported to the top of the hill. The emergency services were prepared for this and were able to extinguish the fire quickly.”

He said the dump truck was removed around 10 p.m. and Highway 21 southbound was reopened.

Gaddy was wearing a seat belt and the dump truck was badly damaged, the patrol reported.

The Goldman Fire Protection District, Hillsboro Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also assisted at the scene, Gaudet said.

He also thanked bystanders who tried to rescue the driver before emergency personnel arrived.

“The victim is alive thanks to everyone’s intervention,” said Gaudet.

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