DETROIT (WWJ) – Authorities say the 53-year-old truck driver who was severely burned when his vehicle crashed and burst into flames on I-75 near Detroit has died.
The accident happened around 3 a.m. Thursday on I-75 just south of Schaefer Avenue in Melvindale.
Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said the tanker was initially traveling southbound on I-75 when the driver somehow lost control of the vehicle, which was carrying 8,000 gallons of gasoline. The tanker struck the median wall, flipped over onto the northbound side of the freeway and erupted in flames.
The driver, Roddy Winn of Detroit, was said to have suffered burns to over 90 percent of his body. He worked for the Corrigan Oil Company.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of a longtime member of the Corrigan family,” Mike Corrigan, president of Corrigan Oil Company, said in a statement. “Corrigan Oil has been family owned for over 50 years and considers every employee to be a part of that family. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with the driver’s wife and two daughters during these tough times.”
Crews are currently re-constructing about 100 feet of the concrete roadway and median wall near Outer Drive that was damaged during the crash. MDOT says the repairs will cost about $200,000. Northbound I-75 will remain closed at the Southfield Freeway until Monday morning.
The crash remains under investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is urged to contact Michigan State Police at 248-584-5740.
Thursday’s accident is the fourth tanker fire in the past five months in metro Detroit.
In June, an empty tanker caught fire on southbound I-75 before I-375. No injuries were reported.
In May, a tanker carrying 9,000 gallons of unleaded fuel burst into flames on a northbound I-75 ramp near Ford Field. The ramp was closed for a week.
In March, a tanker carrying 13,000 gallons of unleaded and diesel fuel exploded into a ball of flames on I-94 west of Wyoming on the Detroit-Dearborn border.
Another major tanker fire was six years ago, when a tanker hauling 13,000 gallons of fuel exploded on I-75 under the 9 Mile Road overpass. Heat from the fire caused the 9 Mile bridge to collapse onto the freeway.
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