The State Fire Marshal says the driver of a tanker truck injured when it exploded while filling tanks at a St. Augustine gas station last year was at fault.
A BP gas station along State Road 16 went up in flames in August. David Cowles was off-loading fuel from his tanker when a ball of fire shot up about 75 feet into the air, investigators said.
Cowles received burns to his arms and spent weeks at a hospital burn unit.
About one month later, Cowles filed a lawsuit against the oil company who owned the storage tanks. But according to a report from the State Fire Marshal's Office, Cowles demonstrated culpable negligence because he voluntarily chose to leave the tanker unattended while pumping fuel.
It says he was a minimum of 59 feet away from the pumps and could not determine the amount of fuel in his tank or if there was a potential overflow hazard.
The explosion caused about $1 million worth of damage.