Atwater Crash Sprays Fire From Tanker Truck, Kills Driver — May 23, 2017
Twenty-five foot wide sprays of flame spread over Highway 99 when a tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of fuel flew off the roadway in Atwater on May 23rd. The driver could not escape and was found inside his 2008 Peterbilt burnt to death. Witnesses describe seeing waves of flames shooting and crashing down the highway. Onlookers had to rush away from the fire and smoke filled streets. Five or more explosions occurred during the wreck. Authorities have determined the truck contained over 9,000 gallons of fuel. They believe the fuel that spilled into the gutter may contaminate drinking water. Investigators have determined the driver took a turn too fast and caused the trailer to whip around, hit the guardrail and catch fire. Thick black smoke lingered in the area for hours. Buildings and cars were left scorched all along the street.