PLANT CITY, FL — A deadly semi truck accident resulting in fire, has claimed the life of a 60 year old truck driver. The truck accident occurred early Wednesday morning, October 6, just before 1 a.m at a busy Plant City intersection on Trapnell Road at Highway 39. The driver of the semi apparently lost control, flipped over causing the truck to catch fire. The victim was unable to escape.
The victim was identified as Gerry Adams, a 60 year old truck driver from Lakeland. Adams was an employee of Markie Transportation out of Zephyrhills and had only been with the company for about six months. His employer said he was dedicated and hardworking.
Police have not released what caused the accident, but the truck driver’s nephew, who came to the scene after the crash, told Florida Department of Transportation investigators that Adams was following another truck when he radioed to say he was feeling ill and was going to pull over. The wife of Adams’ nephew said Adams had a history of heart problems.
Plant City police Sgt. Dale Peterson said he was part of a three-truck caravan hauling materials for Marki Transportation of Zephyrhills.
Investigators believe Adams hit a concrete pole, causing the truck to burst into flames. The truck which was carrying fertilizer caught fire and some of the contents also spilled onto the road. The fire was large enough to burn power lines and a street sign high above the road at the scene of the crash.
A man who lives nearby told investigators he heard two explosions. The cab of the truck was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
Plant City Fire Rescue Operations Chief Gene Shuler said crews fought the fire with foam.
Also, due to the fertilizer on the truck, an environmental company was called in to monitor the potential hazmat situation.
“Today is the initial assessment of the extent of contamination, so we know exactly what we’re dealing with and the days that follow will be the remediation and source recovery,” said Eric Jonsson of A.C.T. Environmental Solutions.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Bay News 9
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