JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two people in a tanker truck were seriously injured in a fiery crash Monday afternoon that blocked multiple lanes of northbound Interstate 95 near Union Street for several hours, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said.
The Florida Highway Patrol website shows the accident, which involved the tanker truck and a car, was reported about 1:15 p.m.
According to JFRD, a fire started after the tanker crashed. According to FHP, the crash appeared to have been the result of an improper lane change by the car.
A report from the FHP shows two 16-year-old girls were in the car that struck the tanker. A man and woman, ages 29 and 44, were in the tanker.
JFRD said the semitruck was carrying aggregate, which is pulverized rock-like material. The JFRD crews who got close to the burning semi did not know what the tanker was carrying, as they hustled to put out the fire.
“They saw smoke, they knew they needed help, they called for more help. There was a semitruck and passenger vehicle that crashed. The semi ended up rolling and caught flames,” said JFRD spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer. “Hazardous materials unit was called. We didn’t know what was in the tanker of the semi, if we were dealing with any hazardous materials, and the fuel from the semitruck was an issue, as well, so crews got there one went straight to putting the fire out another set of crews went to tending to the patients.”
News4JAX learned that two people in the tanker were pulled from the cab and that they were in serious condition at last check. JFRD said the two were being prepped for transfer to the burn unit at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville.
The two people in the car were shaken up but walked away. They were taken to a hospital. JFRD said it’s a miracle that they’re alive.
JFRD said there were a couple of good Samaritans who helped out following the crash.
The Department of Transportation sent a crew out to do a structural integrity inspection of the damage to the land bridge where the crash happened.
As of about 5:30 p.m., it appeared all northbound lanes of I-95 were back open in the area after crews removed the wreckage.