Several recent commercial vehicle accidents in Texas highlight some of the dangers of oil tankers.
Goliad, TX – In May, an 18-wheeler tanker truck carrying diesel fuel, veered off US Hwy 183, and crashed, killing the driver, according to a report filed by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The driver, identified as Sean Robert Clark, was headed north on the highway at around 11 p.m., when the tractor that was carrying the lead diesel fuel swung off the road and struck a cement culvert.
The report said the trailer separated from the truck and smashed into the truck’s cab roof, causing Clark’s death. Law enforcement authorities believe that driver error may have lead to the trailer detaching from the truck.
Dimmit County, South Texas – In January 2015, five oil workers were killed after the van in which they were riding collided with a crude oil tanker and exploded.
According to Reuters, the accident occurred in Dimmit County, which is also the location of Eagle Ford Shale, a large fracking field just southwest of San Antonio.
Reuters reported that the accident was triggered by a pickup truck that swerved in front of the oil tanker, causing the driver of the tanker to lose control of his truck, which rolled over.
The van carrying the five oil workers crashed into the tanker and exploded into flames. In addition to the five dead oil workers, three others were injured in the crash, with one victim suffering severe burns that required him to be airlifted to a hospital in San Antonio, where he was admitted in critical condition.
Hurst, TX – In December 2015, a gasoline tanker truck owned by RaceTrac was involved in a single-vehicle accident that killed the tanker driver, and spilled burning fuel across the road.
The accident occurred on East Loop 820 as the tanker was headed south, according to authorities. No other people were injured in the accident, but the gasoline spill shut down both lanes of the highway for hours as cleanup crews worked to clear the potentially hazardous liquid.