Utah-Tanker Truck Crash and Burn
Tanker Carrying Gasoline Crashes and Burns on Hwy 6
April 24th, 2006 @ 4:00pm
Sam Penrod Reporting
A tanker truck crash has closed Highway 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon. The tanker was carrying unleaded gasoline when it wrecked and burst into flames.
The accident occurred near Thistle Junction at mile marker 191. The highway has been closed in both directions.
The driver of the truck was able to get out, but was seriously injured. We're told he has first and third degree burns over 90% of his body. He has been taken to the hospital by helicopter. No one else is believed to have been involved or injured in the accident.
The crash occurred around 1:30 pm, just east of the Hwy 89 and Hwy 6 interchange. The tanker truck was carrying two tanker trailers of unleaded gasoline, about 8300 of gas.
Both tankers completely burned, leaving only charred rubble. The rock wall of the canyon is left completely blackened from the smoke and explosion.
The cause of the accident is still unknown, but speed seems to be a likely factor.
Here are the detours the Utah Department of Transportation is recommending for access to and from the Castle Country area of Eastern Utah.
Eastbound traffic into the area should take US-89 at Thistle all the way south to I-70, then back on S-R 10 through Emery County.
Westbound traffic from Price to the Wasatch Front is being diverted onto Highway 191 over Indian Canyon and into Duchesne County, with access back to the Wasatch Front on Highway 40.
Back in August 2005, there was a similar crash almost in the exact spot as today's explosion. The driver of a semi-truck carrying explosives took a curve too fast and crashed.
That caused a fiery explosion and left a massive crater in the road. No one was seriously hurt, but it took crews several days to repair the road damage. The Utah Highway Patrol filed charges against the truck driver.
In 2004, UDOT reported 20 crashes within two miles either way of milemarker 191. That averages to more than one accident per month. It was even worse back in 2003 when there was an average of two accidents a month in that same area.