To some people there is nothing quite so scary as the thought of being burned alive. While most people likely consider a house fire as one of the most frightening events, an automobile fire can be extremely terrifying and many times more dangerous because of the smaller space and the increased chances of the occupants being trapped in the vehicle following a serious traffic crash.
As a Maryland trucking accident attorney, I wouldn’t be the least surprised to learn that a healthy number of drivers in Baltimore, Frederick and Rockville, MD, do their best to steer clear of commercial tanker trucks carrying gasoline, fuel oil, propane as well as other flammable and potentially explosive substances. Although car fires are relatively few and far between when compared to the total number of highway collisions every year, those odds can be increased whenever a tank truck carrying flammable cargo is involved.
According to a news report a while back, a propane tanker crashed and overturned along a stretch of Interstate 70 in Mount Airy, MD. The accident, which took place on a Sunday morning a little east of Md 27, resulted in the roadway being closed off for nearly six hours as emergency responders and hazmat crews worked to clean up the crash site. Fortunately, no one was hurt in this particular instance, which is amazing in itself.
Based on police reports, the truck was hauling more than 8,000 gallons of liquid propane gas (LPG) when its driver apparently lost control of the vehicle. Reports indicate that 42-year-old James Hooper was operating the tanker as it traveled east on I-70 near exit 68 when the vehicle’s back wheels reportedly veered onto the gassy median adjacent to the roadway. This sudden change caused Hooper to loose control and the truck turned onto its side.
During the crash, the tanker slid on its side for approximately 300 feet before coming to rest against the guard rail in the center median. According to police, no liquid propane leaked from the tanker and no other vehicles were involved. Authorities did say that Hooper and his passenger, 55-year-old Glenn Novack, were both injured during the accident. The two men were taken to separate hospitals, where they were each treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
No specific cause, such as defective equipment or driver error, was given at the time of the news report, however an investigation by the state police was ongoing with assistance from the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and the Maryland Department of the Environment. Other agencies responding to the scene that day were the Mount Airy volunteer fire company, Lisbon fire company, Howard County Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police.
POLICE: Propane tanker overturns on I-70, CarrollCountyTimes.com, January 17, 2011