A tanker truck carrying diesel fuel crashed and erupted into fire Monday, shutting down Interstate 30 in Mesquite in both directions for hours.
Officials said the driver of the truck, 32-year-old Brian Dawson, veered off the road at about 5 a.m. and stuck a support column of the Big Town Boulevard overpass. The crash ruptured the the tanker's storage structure and spilled 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel into the eastbound lanes. The fuel spill quickly caught fire and engulfed the tanker truck.
Flames were so intense that traffic was shut down in both directions while the fire was contained in the eastbound lanes. By 6:30 a.m., firefighters had extinguished most of the fire though morning rush-hour traffic was backed up in both directions through mid-morning.
A cursory inspection of the bridge showed only minor damage to one of the columns, and no structural damage. A more detailed inspection of the bridge is under way.
By 8 a.m., the westbound lanes of I-30 were reopened. Eastbound lanes were closed until about 2 p.m., when the left and center lanes were reopened.
Dawson, who drove for Frontier Tank Lines, was transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas where he was treated and released for his injuries.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Mesquite Police Department.