Update (12/29/2011, 10:27am): The Florida Highway Patrol says the driver of a chemical truck was killed in this accident early Thursday morning. FHP spokesperson Sgt. Kim Montes says 66-year old Francis Trammell of Neptune Beach, Florida, died after his truck struck the back of a logging truck in the accident and caught fire.
Investigating troopers say the logging truck lost control while northbound on I-95 early Thursday, and overturned, spilling logs onto the road. The front of the car involved in the accident hit the logs, according to troopers, and was then hit in the rear by the mail truck. Troopers say the front of the chemical truck then hit the rear of the log truck, and the chemical truck caught fire.
Troopers will check damage to I-95 next and determine how long repairs to the road will keep the northbound lanes closed, at the 421/Dunlawton Avenue exit at mile marker 256 (see additional details in the following story).
One semi driver was killed and four others were injured in a fiery accident early Thursday morning on northbound I-95 just north of the Dunlawton Avenue exit in Port Orange. Volusia County Fire Services spokesperson Pat Kuehn says three semis, one carrying chemicals, and a passenger vehicle were involved in the crash. The accident was being investigated Thursday morning by the Florida Highway Patrol, after an all-clear was issued for the nearby area by Port Orange Fire Rescue due to toxic smoke. Officials expect northbound I-95 to remain closed during the accident investigation today, and following an inspection of the road, which is likely damaged. Alternate routes to I-95 North include Clyde Morris Boulevard, Nova Road, and U.S. 1, all east of I-95 in Port Orange.
Intense blaze at accident scene
Sgt. Kim Montes with the Florida Highway Patrol says troopers expect to find damage to northbound I-95, “….due to the intense fire that occurred.” Volusia County Fire spokesperson Pat Kuehn says several loud explosions from the accident woke residents in the area over a mile away. This Examiner heard one explosion as crews reported reaching the scene, from a neighborhood west of Daytona Beach. First-responders reported at least one truck on fire and explosions in the area of the trucks. Sheriff’s spokesperson Brandon Haught confirms that a Volusia County Deputy also helped transport one person injured in the accident to ambulances arriving at the scene. The patient was placed in the back of a Volusia County Sheriff’s truck with medical personnel, to quickly get the patient to an ambulance for transport to a hospital. Reports added that one of the injured was flown to Halifax Hospital by the Sheriff’s helicopter, Air One, and others were taken by ambulance.
Responders check for chemical contact
Volusia County Deputies and Air One crew have not reported any health problems from their work at the accident scene, according to Officer Haught, but they were advised to wash their clothes as soon as possible and seek treatment if they experienced any problems breathing. Spokesperson Kuehn reports that emergency workers who had contact with the toxic chemicals at the scene were decontaminated. Port Orange Fire Rescue also advised residents in neighborhoods east of I-95 to stay in their homes because of the toxic smoke early Thursday, but that advisory was later lifted.
Volusia County Fire spokesperson Pat Kuehn says the three trucks were a U.S. Postal Service truck, a logging truck, and a double semi, “…that was carrying methyl bromide…an odorless, colorless gas used as a soil and structural fumigant to control pests.” Kuehn says the double semi caught fire and exploded, releasing the chemical into the air.
Port Orange Fire Rescue was the lead agency working the accident, and was assisted by firefighters with the Daytona Beach Fire Department, Volusia County Fire Services and the Florida Division of Forestry. The Florida Highway Patrol is conducting the accident investigation and road inspection.
Click here to visit the Florida Highway Patrol web site.
Click here to visit the Port Orange Fire Department web site.
Click here to visit the Volusia County Fire Services web site.
Click here to visit the Daytona Beach Fire Department web site.
You can contact Mike Royer at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 407-473-2287 or 386-492-7438.