Ohio Tractor Trailer and Oil Tanker Collide, Cause Dangerous Explosion
Another Ohio Tractor Trailer Accident Involved A Dangerous Explosion After a tractor Trailer and Oil Tanker Collide On Ohio Roadway
An Ohio tractor trailer accident occurred when a tractor trailer collided with a Marathon Oil tanker on westbound U.S. Route 30. The crash resulted in an explosion where thick black plums of smoke were visible for miles surrounding the crash. The tractor-trailer driver was airlifted to an Akron hospital to treat his injuries. The Ohio State Highway Patrol did not indicate that any passengers or drivers in surrounding vehicles were injured by the explosion. [http://www.the-daily-record.com/local%20news/2014/08/04/tractor-trailer-tanker-collide-in-fiery-crash-on-west-u-s-route-30, August 2014]
According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, this was the second tractor-trailer accident in that area. In the first accident, a tractor trailer hit the rear of a passenger vehicle, which swerved off the road and hit the truck in the side. State Highway Patrol offices believe the first crash was responsible for causing the second, larger crash. After the initial accident, traffic slowed, which led to the second accident involving the tanker. The tanker was carrying 6,500 gallons of gasoline and 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel. The crash resulted in an immediate explosion.
The explosion was so large; New Pittsburg firefighters were unable to put out the fire. The fire spread to the road, median, and into a culvert 700 feet away from the crash. Eventually, fire department teams from Wooster Township, Jeromesville, Central Fire District, Clinton Township, Town and Country Fire District, Hayesville-Vermillion, Kidron, Wooster, and the Wayne County HAZMAT were able to put out the fire. The tanker driver sustained only minor injuries and was able to walk away from the crash. The truck driver, however, was ejected from his truck and was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he remains in critical condition.
Data from the National Fire Protection Association shows that vehicle fires, although dangerous, are not extremely common. In 2012, there were 172,500 vehicle fires or explosions. As a comparison, the US Department of Transportation shows there were 5,584,000 total vehicle crashes in 2012, meaning that only about 2-3 percent of all vehicle crashes result in a fire or explosion. This particular tractor trailer crash caused an explosion because the tanker that the semi-truck driver hit was carrying fuel. The combination of impact, sparks, air, and fuel created the explosion, which had an effect on the surrounding area similar to a small bomb. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, drivers can avoid [http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/vehicle-fires/highway-vehicle-fires, August, 2014] [http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811856.pdf, August 2014]
According to Safety First Driving School, drivers can take precautions to ensure their cars do not explore while driving. The best preventive measure is to maintain the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. The easiest way to prevent a fire after a crash is to turn off the engine. If smoke is seen coming out of the engine, pull over to the side of the road and exit the vehicle. Keep an eye out while driving for signs of slow traffic to avoid collisions which may lead to dangerous explosions or toxic spills.
[http://www.safety1stdriversed.com/2013/09/what-to-do-if-your-car-catches-fire/, August 2014]
The extreme damage to the road caused by the explosion has necessitated that the westbound side of the highway remain closed until the road can be repaired, which could take several weeks. Until then, Plain Township residents can expect delays while the road is repaired.