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Atwater Fiery Fuel Tank Truck Crash

Fiery Fuel Tank Truck Crash in Atwater

A big rig was transporting thousands of gallons of gasoline along Highway 99 in Atwater during the morning hours of Tuesday, May 23, 2017. The driver of the tanker truck allegedly lost control and crashed along an offramp exit. The collision resulted in a devastating fire.

What Happened?

A tanker truck was traveling on Highway 99 to deliver approximately 9,000 gallons of fuel to an Arco gas station along Bell Lane. When the driver of the big rig took the exit for Bell Lane, the truck allegedly lost control and overturned while exiting. This caused the trailer to veer behind the big rig and into the onramp of Bell Lane.

Watch YouTube Video – By KCRA News – LiveCopter 3 Shows Aftermath Atwater of Tanker Truck Fire

The following video demonstrates the scene of the fiery tanker truck crash. As you may view in the video, the blaze scorched the roadway and nearby buildings.

Fiery Crash Aftermath

According to Mark Lawson, the division chief from Calfire-Merced County, police fear that the truck may have leaked approximately 1,000 gallons of gasoline into the gutter. The fuel may travel through the system and contaminate the drinking-water supply.

Over 200 people were evacuated from a nearby shopping center due to the accident. Multiple vehicles sustained heat damage from the fiery truck crash. Authorities described many of the cars as “scorched” due to the blast.

Was Anybody Injured?

The driver of the fuel tanker was unable to make it out of the burning truck. Sadly, he was pronounced deceased at the scene.

We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the man who lost his life in this tragic truck accident.

Truck Accident Statistics

Most fatalities in accidents involving large commercial trucks are to vehicle occupants in the passenger cars involved in the crash. The main issue is the vulnerability of motorists traveling in smaller vehicles. Did you know that commercial trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as a standard passenger car? These trucks are taller with wider ground clearance. This can result in a passenger car under riding trucks in traffic collisions. The passenger vehicle goes under the trailer of the truck causing devastating injuries up to and including death.

The braking capability of a truck can be an important factor in truck accidents. A fully loaded tractor-trailer may take between 20 to 40 percent farther than passenger cars to stop. This discrepancy is greater on slippery and wet roadways. With poorly maintained truck brakes the issue becomes even more complicated and deadly.

Sad, but true, truck driver fatigue is a known crash risk. Drivers of large commercial trucks are permitted by a federal hours-of-service regulation to be behind the wheel for up to eleven (11) hours at a stretch and up to seventy-seven (77) hours over a seven (7)-day period. Surveys have indicated that numerous drivers violate these regulations and work longer than the regulation permits.

The truck accident statistics above are based on a 2016 analysis of data obtained from the U.S. Department of Transportation – Fatality Analysis Reporting System, more commonly referred to as FARS.

Related Content by Edward A Smith:

Atwater Truck Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Atwater truck accident lawyer. If you or someone you love has suffered traumatic, catastrophic or even fatal injuries from a truck accident, please call me at (209) 227-1931 for free, friendly advice. You may also contact me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

I’ve been assisting Merced County families with their wrongful death and personal injury cases since 1982.

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I am listed as a member of the California sector of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are the nation’s top-ranking trial lawyers with verdicts worth more than $1 Million Dollars for past clients of ours.

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Photograph Attribution: Wikimedia Commons

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