Disaster was narrowly averted during the morning commute last Tuesday when a tanker truck carrying 11,000 gallons of gasoline struck several cars on a ramp at the Braintree Split. One woman was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries, but no one else was injured. The ramp from exit eighteen on Route 93 South connecting to the Burgin Parkway in Quincy—the most direct access to the Quincy Adams Red Line parking garage—was closed for less than two hours as the scene was cleared, but an alternative route was available.

“No Idea What Happened”

One of the motorists in the crash, whose van was heavily damaged and lost a bumper after being hit by the truck, noted that the ramp was backed up at the time but that there was no warning before the crash. “He just did not stop,” said Cameron Parker, who watched the tanker continue on to strike two other vehicles after his own was hit and pushed into a concrete barrier.

Braintree firefighters were on the scene quickly and used foam to spray down a small amount of gasoline that spilled from a top hatch of the tanker during the crash. There was no fire, and the spill was contained, but the circumstances were fortunate. A Braintree fire captain noted that there were no hydrants in the area, and that trucks were limited to only the water they were carrying, which was thankfully sufficient to make the foam needed.

Outsized Risk

This crash caused only minor disruption: Most commuters weren’t even aware that anything had happened by the time they returned home Tuesday afternoon. But past incidents with tankers have caused widespread and dramatic damage. A 2008 crash in Chicopee, for instance, left the tanker driver dead and a massive fire on I-91.

But you don’t have to look that far back: Another near-miss happened in Milford this past April when a fuel-oil delivery tanker caught fire. That fire was contained in the truck’s engine compartment, and local officials credited rain and favorable winds for it not spreading to the truck’s load of oil. In March, Route 128 in Wakefield was closed for about eight hours after a tanker rolled over and suffered a small spill in a crash that also involved three cars. And only two days before the Braintree crash, a tanker and a car tangled in Beverly, leading to a small spill.

Everyday Occurrence

In fact, you can find news of a tanker crash of some sort nearly every day somewhere in the United States, often with much more tragic results. In the twenty-four hours prior to the Braintree crash, two tanker-truck drivers died in incidents that ended in fire or explosion in North Carolina and California. Tanker drivers aren’t the only victims, either. Only the week before, a family of four died and several others were injured in a multi-vehicle crash caused by a tanker in North Carolina.

Boston Truck Accident Lawyer

When you’ve been in a crash involving a large commercial truck, you need experienced help from a law firm familiar with the practice of truck accident law. At Joel H. Schwartz, PC we’ve been helping clients with this kind of personal injury case for over five decades. We offer every client a free consultation to discuss the specifics of his or her case, so give us a call today at 1-800-660-2270 or contact us online through the form below to find out how we can help.