BARTOW, FL – A fiery crash near Bartow, Florida claimed the life of a truck driver when the fuel tanker truck he was driving collided with a CSX freight train.
The accident occurred on Wednesday morning, March 7, near State Road 60 west of Bartow just south of the intersection of S.R. 60 and Bonnie Mine Road on property owned by the Mosaic phosphate company.
Bartow is located in Polk County Florida, about 13 miles southeast of Lakeland.
According to authorities the driver of the tanker truck was killed, but said the three people aboard the the train were not injured.
It was undetermined just how much diesel fuel the 3,000-gallon tanker truck was carrying, but firefighters who arrived on the scene allowed the heavy black smoke to burn off.
13 News reports:
According to Polk County Fire and Rescue spokesman Brad Ruhmann, the train was not directly involved in the fire. Flames from the tanker were concentrated near the front of the train’s locomotive.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office closed State Road 60 for a time because of the smoke but reopened it by early Wednesday afternoon.
Bay News 9 partner newspaper The Ledger of Lakeland reported that the tanker was returning to a Mosaic refining operation after delivering a load of diesel fuel to some back-up generators. The newspaper also said the train was pulling three cars loaded with acid used in phosphate operations and two empty cars. CSX officials said the cargo was non-hazardous.
The incident remains under investigation at this time.
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