A stream of burning propane shooting from a tank in a motor home into the cab area of the home burned five people and started the vehicle on fire in a freak accident on I-15 just east of Nephi Thursday evening.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Randy Ingram said the motor home was southbound at 8 p.m. when a muffler may have overheated and caused the propane tank to blow a safety valve, shooting burning gas into the cab of the motor home.The most seriously injured was Jeanine Nicholson, 58, Renton, Wash., who jumped from the burning vehicle while it was still moving and sustained head injuries as well as burns. She was taken by the East Juab County ambulance to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, where she was in serious condition Friday in the intensive care unit.
The other four people in the motor home received burns of varying degrees, said Ingram. Jimmie Nicholson, 54, Renton, Wash., driver of the vehicle; Kenneth Nicholsen, 52, Kent, Wash.; and Ernestine VanCamp, 63, and Verl Connally, 68, both of Fruitland, Idaho, were all taken by ambulance to Central Valley Medical Center in Nephi where they were treated and released.
Ingram said the motor home sustained $4,000 in damages and could have been totally destroyed except for quick action by one of the passengers and others who stopped to help. The Nephi Fire Department helped put out the fire.