Wisconsin Man Dies When He Drives Into House, Hits Gas Main

A pickup truck crashed into a home and ruptured a natural gas line, causing an explosion that killed the driver and injured a police officer, authorities said.

The pickup plowed into the house late Saturday and came to rest about 6 feet inside, said Acting Police Chief Mike Bondarenko.

Officer Benjamin Henrich went to investigate the crash and detected a strong odor of natural gas, and as he was trying to make contact with the driver an explosion destroyed the house.

The pickup had damaged a natural gas meter on the side of the building, he said.

Henrich was thrown 15 to 20 feet and the lone occupant of the pickup, a woman, died in the subsequent fire, the chief said.

"There was just one big boom," said Keith Warnke, who was across the street at the time of the blast. "At first it was kind of like a fireworks, but it spread fast."

Bondarenko said Henrich was treated for minor lacerations and burns.

Police said the couple who own the house were inside at the time but were not injured.

The pickup driver was not immediately identified.