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Crash Between Gas Tanker and Wrong-Way Driver Leads to Huge Fire in Dayton, Ohio (UPDATED)

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Explosion in Dayton

Photo: Ohio Department of Transportation

A gasoline tanker was involved in a head-on crash with a car going the wrong way on south-bound I-75 in Dayton on Sunday, leading to a fiery explosion and a large plume of black smoke. The video below is courtesy of WHIO.

At around 4:45pm, police began receiving reports of a car going the wrong way on I-75, which crashed head-on into the tanker truck. The driver, a 30-year-old man from Beavercreek, was at first presumed dead at the scene, and later pronounced officially dead. The truck driver suffered only minor injuries, but police have closed I-75 until the crash can be cleaned and the damage can be assessed.

Shortly after the crash, the police also received reports of thick smoke coming from sewer grates. Fire crews flushed the storm sewers with water, while Ohio’s EPA, hazardous materials crews, and representatives of Dayton’s wellfield protection office responded to the scene of the crash.

The fire rages for a time, as crews had to let the first burn down before it could use fire-retardant foam to put out the flames.

At time of writing, the full extent of the damage to the interstate hasn’t been assessed—at the site of the crash, the highway is a bridge that passes through the downtown area of Dayton. That side of the highway is expected to be closed for a few days.

The Ohio Department of Transportation offered detours for the northbound vehicles to I-675, to get on I-70 and go west to return to I-75 around Vandalia. For southbound, motorists are asked to do the reverse of that—I-70 east to I-675 south back to I-75 just north of Austin Boulevard in Springboro. More local drivers can take state route 48 through downtown Dayton to I-675.

In any case, local commuters may want to take the opportunity to work from home, if possible.

UPDATE: As of the morning of May 1st, police have reopened traffic on I-75 in both directions, although work continues around the crash area. The site is marked by an enormous burn mark that runs for several yards down the concrete median, and on the other side of the southbound lanes by melted and clouded plexiglass barriers.

News Source: WHIO