A man who allegedly caused a fatal accident by driving the wrong way on a Fort Worth freeway has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. The man was driving the wrong direction on I-30 when he collided with a gas tanker. The truck accident caused the gas tanker to overturn and explode, killing the driver inside the rig.
According to witnesses, the 23-year-old driver was driving his red pickup truck against traffic on the westbound lanes of I-30 near Beach Street in Forth Worth. He collided with the tanker, causing it to erupt into flames. The driver of the tanker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police reports show that the man was suspected of intoxication at the time of the fatal accident. He was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries before being sent to the Fort Worth jail.
In addition to the fatal injury, the DWI accident may have caused lasting environmental and structural damage as well. The crash occurred on a bridge above Sycamore Creek, which was dry due to a lack of recent rainfall. Although gas from the tanker likely leaked into the creek bed, officials do not believe that it was contaminated by the spilled fuel. Fire Department officials were not sure how much fuel the tanker had been carrying, but said that most of it appeared to have burned in the fire.
Because of the heat generated by the massive gas fire, the steel support beams under the bridge were damaged in the accident. TxDOT engineers say that only part of the bridge was damaged, but the westbound lanes remained closed while crews repaired the concrete barriers. The structural repairs on the bridge could take months, engineers report.
Source: MyFoxDFW.com, “DWI Charge in Deadly Wrong-Way Explosion”, Alicia Wolke, 28 March 2011