Barrier Fails to Prevent Fiery Gas Meter Crash in Lewisville

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A fireball erupted along the I-35 frontage road in Lewisville Monday morning after a car collided with a gas meter.

Incredibly, no one was hurt.

Those crashes involving meters happen more often than you might think.

Working with our partners at the Dallas Morning News NBC 5 Investigates obtained data from TxDot last year showing cars hit gas meters along Texas roads more than 3600 times from 2010 to 2018.

In most cases, accident reports say the driver was going too fast.  Police in Lewisville said the driver involved in Monday’s crash also appeared to be going too fast for the wet road conditions.

Images from google maps show the gas meter that driver hit was actually protected by three steel posts - and it was located back behind the sidewalk.

Still that wasn't enough to prevent damage.

An NBC5 investigation in 2019 found some meters along Texas roads are not protected at all -- and are located much closer to roads.

Drivers have even backed over meters in alleys -- one woman in central Texas died.

The largest gas company in Texas -- Atmos -- says most meters near roads still have a low probability of being hit.

The company says damage would not be anticipated under normal driving conditions.

Atmos says it installed the protective barrier in front of the meter damages in Lewisville

“Even though our meters and adjacent infrastructure are occasionally damaged by drivers, we are proactive in taking appropriate steps...to mitigate perceived risk wherever necessary”, said spokeswoman Celina Cardenas Fleites.

The state agency in charge of gas lines – the Texas Railroad Commission -  has also ordered some meters moved in the past for safety reasons.

But the agency says most meters near roads are not a threat when drivers control their car - and stay in their lane.

But as morning commuters saw again today in Lewisville it doesn't always work out that way.

Contact Us