I-95 collapse

Tanker truck driver lost control before fiery crash that caused I-95 to collapse, NTSB says

The truck driver who died when his tanker hauling gasoline crashed under Interstate 95 on June 11, 2023 was unable to maintain control on the Cottman Avenue off-ramp, the NTSB says. No exact cause for the crash was issued, however

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What to Know

  • The driver of a tanker truck hauling gasoline lost control on a curved off-ramp on Interstate 95, causing the truck to flip and catch fire, leading to the collapse of the northbound lanes in early June. This is according to a preliminary report from federal safety officials.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board’s brief report released Thursday outlined what happened on June 11.
  • A vehicle was hauling 8,500 gallons of gasoline from Wilmington, Delaware, to a gas station located on Oxford Avenue in Philadelphia when it crashed and caught fire on the off-ramp, killing the driver and damaging a section of the interstate.

The tanker truck driver who crashed under Interstate 95 causing the highway in Northeast Philadelphia to collapse lost control of his vehicle on an off-ramp moments before the crash that killed him.

That's according to a preliminary National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report released Thursday.

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Just after 6:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 11, the driver -- later identified as 53-year-old Nathan Moody -- exited I-95 on the northbound Cottman Avenue off-ramp, according to the NTSB's June 29 report.

Moody was hauling about 8,500 gallons of gasoline from Wilmington, Delaware, to a gas station on Oxford Avenue in Philadelphia. He was driving a 2017 International truck-tractor in combination with a 2004 Heil Specification Package 406 tank-trailer as "an affiliate carrier leased to Penn Tank Lines," the NTSB said.

"The truck driver was unable to maintain control of the combination vehicle on the off-ramp," the NTSB said. "The truck rolled over and subsequently caught fire under the northbound lanes of the I-95 overpass."

Moody, died in this incident. The impacted section of I-95 was closed before the roadway collapsed, preventing other injuries.

In the days after the wreck, video of the moment that the tanker collided with the bridge and exploded was posted online.

In the video, the truck could be seen headed off the highway and turning onto its side while navigating a curve, moments before a roaring fire erupts from the scene. Flames from the overturned tanker truck immediately begin to billow thick, black smoke that shrouds the roadway and fills the air.

The NTSB's initial report on Thursday said that the "posted speed limit on I-95 in the vicinity of the crash was 55 mph, and the Cottman Avenue off-ramp was posted with a 25-mph speed limit and truck rollover warning sign." However, the report didn't say how fast the tanker truck was going at the time of the crash.

Online photos of the off-ramp prior to the crash show two yellow speed limit signs and a rollover risk sign prior to a sharp curve.

The NTSB -- along with local, state and federal officials -- continued to investigate.

"All aspects of the crash remain under investigation while the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar events."

The highway, amazingly, was temporarily fixed and reopened in just 12 days. Permanent repairs to the collapsed overpass will take place while drivers use the temporary lanes.

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