Driver killed after tanker truck strikes tree, explodes near Frederick

The driver of tanker truck died after the vehicle crashed into a tree and exploded Saturday in along Northbound US-15 in Frederick, Maryland, according to authorities.

Fire officials haven’t determined what led up to the crash near the Rosemont Avenue intersection. Still, Frederick County Fire Chief Tom Coe said at a press conference that residents of a home on nearby Apple Avenue were displaced after flames from the wreckage caused “extensive damage” to their house.

Two other homes and three cars on that same street caught fire as well, according to Coe, but only suffered minor damage. Fire crews were able to contain the fire in about 40 minutes.

Roadcrews reopened the stretch of road impacted by the explosion some 10 hours after the incident was reported. An investigation into the tanker fire is ongoing.

The aftermath of Saturday’s tanker truck explosion in Frederick, Maryland. The crash killed the driver of the tanker, and flames damaged nearby homes and vehicles. (Courtesy Sykesville Fire Department)

The gas tanker, owned by CLI Transport, was engulfed in flames, sending heavy smoke into the area following the crash. Authorities only said that the truck was carrying a “flammable liquid,” but Coe believed it was a commonly transported liquid such as gasoline or diesel fuel.

Officials will continue to monitor the air quality and the area where the liquid saturated soil for the clean up, but there was no breach of the Frederick’s sewer system, nor were contaminants found in a creek nearby.

Maryland State Police said there were no other injuries or deaths related to the incident.

“My heart goes out to those affected by this tragedy in Frederick,” Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement. “We are continuing to monitor the situation closely.”

In a statement, CLI Transport President John Tippery said the truck was carrying fuel heading to a local Sheetz location. He added that the company is working alongside Sheetz and local officials to provide any assistant to the area impacted by the fire.

“Both CLI Transport and Sheetz are fully cooperating with state police who are investigating this accident as well as working closely with the Maryland Department of the Environment and local officials to ensure a safe and environmentally responsible clean up,” Tippery said.

Below is the area where the explosion took place:

WTOP’s Tadiwos Abedje, Ivy Lyons and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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