A trucking-related wreck can be a frightening event, especially for the occupants of smaller vehicles caught up in the crash. A semi tractor-trailer hauling heavy cargo can do significant damage to smaller and lighter passenger vehicles. Even sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are no match against a fully-loaded big rig.
As a Maryland injury lawyer and trucking accident attorney, I know that the size of these vehicles and the cargo they carry can cause serious harm to the drivers and passengers of multiple vehicles. One of the most dangerous types of truck-related crashes involve tankers carrying flammable liquids such as heating oil, diesel fuel, kerosene or gasoline.
A tanker crash can release thousands of gallons of combustible liquids, which can engulf and burn out of control for hours. Any motorist caught up in a tanker truck crash must have luck on his side to make it through. This kind of traffic accident occurred not long ago on Montross Road above Interstate 270 in Montgomery County, MD.
According to news articles, a fuel tanker carrying 8,900 gallons of gasoline overturned shortly before 5am near I-270 ramp in Rockville setting off a fire that blocked several key arteries in the area just before the morning rush hour. Based on reports, the tanker driver was charged with negligent driving in the accident.
Michael A. Gongola, 45, of Frederick, MD, reportedly said that his rig began to drift to the left side of the highway “for unknown reasons,” according to the Montgomery County police. Police say that Gongola tried to correct the drifting condition, which then caused the tanker to overturn on Montrose Road, spilling its contents onto the roadway and then catching fire.
Debris from the truck struck a second vehicle, but fortunately the occupant of the car and the truck driver were not injured. However, had this accident happened at the peak of the rush hour, there could have been some serious injuries and potentially a fatality from the ensuing truck fire.
Overturned fuel tanker fire closes Montrose Road, WashingtonPost.com, January 15, 2010
Repairs underway on stretch of Montrose Road damaged in fire, WashingtonPost.com, January 14, 2010