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Highway Dangers in Memphis: I-55 and Exploding Fuel Tanker Trucks

Just last week, I-55 was closed to northbound traffic after a gas tanker truck ran into a guardrail near Crump Blvd, causing two of its tanks to explode. No injuries were reported in the recent crash. Investigators determined that the driver was traveling over the speed limit and failed to properly navigate the curve in the highway.

Memphis’ I-55 was the stage for a similar crash in March of this year as well when two semi-trucks and one fuel tanker truck collided. The tanker was carrying 8600 gallons of gas; reports estimate 50 to 75 gallons leaked after impact. I-55 was closed in both directions during rush hour as the fire department worked to put out the resulting fire.

While drivers in both these instances suffered no or only mild injuries, dangerous Tennessee truck accidents occur frequently, putting other drivers and their passengers at risk of serious, even catastrophic, injury simply by traveling on Tennessee roadways.

Memphis Truck Accidents Involving Hazardous Liquid Loads

Tanker trucks are everywhere. The trucks, used to transport liquids, present unique safety issues related to improperly secured truckloads for their drivers as well as those traveling on the same Tennessee roadways.

Flammable liquids, like gasoline, are generally transported by tanker truck, creating a risk of explosion and/or fire upon impact with another car or stationary object. Loss of control is also an issue for tanker trucks. If the tank is not full, the liquid has room to move or ‘slosh’ around, causing the weight in the tank to shift and possibly leading to the driver to losing control of the truck.

The tanker truck may also leak, whether spontaneously due to maintenance issues or upon impact that destroys part of the tank itself. Leaks can lead to large spills of hazardous liquids that then require clean up, can fuel a fire that broke out and can cause exposure to toxins, depending on the type of liquid cargo being transported.