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Fuel truck hit a car, exploded and killed a motorist

A trucking accident claimed another life over the weekend. While a 19-year-old motorist was driving early Sunday morning, a double-tanker semi-truck slammed into his car. The tanker truck accident caused both tanks of fuel to ignite, killing the teenage motorist while the truck driver ran to safety.

The crash occurred around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Fully loaded with 9,000 gallons of gasoline, the two fuels tanks somehow ignited, exploding and burning out of control. Although witnesses saw the accident and ran to try to help the 19-year-old driver, the flames were too hot to get close to the car. Several explosions also kept rescuers at a distance. The trucker sustained some injuries but the 19-year-old died at the scene.

Responders had to summon a specialized fire truck from a nearby airport to put the fire out. Authorities evacuated a nearby apartment building while the flames damaged several other buildings and started a small brushfire.

All trucking accidents have the potential to cause severe harms, but fuel tanker crashes can be especially destructive. Fuel tankers carry explosive and flammable cargo in addition to trucking dangers like driver fatigue, brake failures, driver distractions, rollovers, and excessive speed. When something goes wrong, the consequences go far beyond the initial impact. Yet these tankers remain just as vulnerable to crashes as other trucks. This case is a sad example of how dangerous a fuel tanker wreck can be.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "HESPERIA: Fiery fuel tanker wreck kills 1," Richard Brooks, Sept. 16, 2012

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