Tanker Truck Catches Fire on NJ Turnpike

New Jersey turnpike

An accident on the New Jersey Turnpike involved a tanker truck that caught fire and exploded into flames after swerving to avoid another vehicle, according to recent reports. No charges have been filed yet against the driver who dropped a pile of mattresses, causing an SUV driver to serve in front of the tanker truck driver. The driver of the tanker flipped his truck over a guardrail. The tanker burst into flames instantly, killing the driver.

The accident occurred on the northbound side of Exit 15W in Kearny. Thick black smoke could be seen all the way to New York City as firefighters attempted to extinguish the blaze that consumed 8,500 gallons of gasoline the truck was carrying from a refinery in Linden. The entire scene was captured by dashboard camera on another truck. In the video, an SUV swerves to avoid mattresses and box springs that are scattered across the roadway. The SUV driver swerved into the path of the tanker, leading to the driver’s defensive maneuver which caused the rollover and explosion.

There is no word on any pending arrests or charges. New Jersey Law prohibits drivers from operating their vehicles on the highway without securing loads that could fall off and cause accidents.

Truck Accidents: Dangers for Drivers and Others

Although large trucks such as tankers and semis make up a relatively small portion of vehicles on the road, they are responsible for a high number of deaths and serious injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,053 large trucks involved in fatal accidents in 2012. This means that large trucks were involved in approximately 13 percent of the 30,800 total fatal crashes that year, although large trucks make up only four percent of all registered vehicles and only nine percent of all vehicles per million miles traveled on the road. Clearly, large truck accidents have a much higher fatality rate than those involving passenger cars.

The reasons for this discrepancy are clear. Large trucks are much bigger and heavier than passenger cars, so they are harder to stop and more likely to roll or jackknife, causing serious damage to the vehicles around them.

If you have been involved in a large truck accident, it is important that you receive help from a personal injury attorney like those at the Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York. Contact us today for a free consultation about your truck accident case.