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A Semi-Truck Driver Dies in a Fiery Crash near West, Texas

Monday, October 14th, 2013
Winter Park FL Rescue Fire Department En Route

Rescue Fire Department En Route (Photo credit: Phil’s 1stPix)

Early this month an 18-wheeler driver died after he crashed his truck and it caught fire on I35 at exit number 355 north of West, Texas, just before morning rush hour traffic.

Witnesses to the fatal accident said the truck had been weaving between lanes just before the crash, and no braking of the truck was indicated before the semi struck a concrete barrier.  The fuel tanks of the truck were ruptured in the collision, and it immediately caught fire.

Firefighters said that by the time they arrived, flames as high as 15 feet were shooting from the wreckage; and the entire truck was engulfed.  Some of the truck’s diesel fuel leaked into a drainage ditch underneath the road.  It took about 45 minutes for firefighters to get the flames extinguished.

After the fire was out, the truck driver was found; he was burned beyond recognition.

Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper D. L. Wilson said that it was a very sad situation, but it could have been much worse.  At least no other cars were involved in the crash; it was early enough that the traffic wasn’t heavy at that time.  Still, in minutes traffic was backed up for at least three miles.

Tom Marek, an Abbott firefighter, said they were not even able to use the service road to get to the crash; it was shut down completely for about 40 minutes.  Besides the diesel spill and the fire, there was a load of avocados spilled on the road.  The health department condemned the load of fruit.

Wilson said the construction zone in the area did not cause the crash, though it is a tight area.  It was suspected that a medical condition or fatigue could have been the cause of the driver weaving in traffic.

The deceased driver was transported to the Dallas medical examiner’s office for identification.

Statistics indicate that about 75% of all accidents involving 18-wheelers and other large trucks are caused by motorists in smaller passenger cars, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in this tragic accident.

–Guest Contributor


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