Police: Dog caused crash that shut down NM freeway

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Authorities say a dog running into traffic on a busy New Mexico freeway caused a fiery crash that shut down part of the road and backed up traffic for nearly four hours.

KOB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/w9Ecuz ) the crash happened Sunday on Interstate 40 in Albuquerque.

Police say a man driving on the freeway saw a dog darting into traffic and pulled over. The man got out of his car to help the animal, and a female driver saw him on the road and slammed on her brakes.

A semi tractor-trailer hauling 36,000 pounds of frozen meat then slammed into the woman's vehicle and started on fire.

The blaze sent up a large plume of black smoke, but authorities say the driver escaped uninjured. The woman and other man were also OK, but the dog died.

A portion of westbound I-40 was shut down while crews doused the flames and cleaned up debris. It was back open by Sunday evening.