• September 21, 2022

Gustavo Gomez Rodriguez Killed in Fiery 18-Wheeler Crash off US-75 in Allen, TX

UPDATE (September 22, 2022): Sources have identified the man killed in this accident as 71-year-old Gustavo Gomez Rodriguez. Gomez Rodriguez was reportedly a contractor hauling mail for the United States Postal Service when his truck fell off US-75.

Allen, TX — September 20, 2022, a truck driver died when a big rig fell off a US-75 overpass and caught fire near the Allen-Fairview border.

Authorities say the incident happened just before 3:00 p.m. on the 2000 block of northbound US-75, on the overpass above Stacy Road. Preliminary investigation suggests an International tractor-trailer was headed north on the freeway when a near by Ford Mustang lost control for unknown reasons and crashed into it. After the impact the big rig ran off the US-75 overpass and fell onto the expressway service road just north of Stacy Road. It caught fire when it landed and soon became fully engulfed.

The truck driver died in the accident. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Gustavo Gomez Rodriguez Killed in Fiery 18-Wheeler Crash off US-75 in Allen, TX

Commentary on Gustavo Gomez Rodriguez Accident in Allen

I know investigators are still hard at work figuring out the particulars of this accident, and I'm not coming down on them for not having all the dots connected yet. I just hope they're taking all possible factors into account as they try to make sense of this tragedy.

One detail in particular jumps out at me even from the limited information in early reports: The truck reportedly caught fire and became engulfed after landing from its fall off the overpass. Some may see that as a natural consequence of the fall, but it's not a given that fire would follow so it's important to learn exactly why the truck combusted. One possible explanation involves a troublingly-common problem with big rigs: the design and placement of their fuel tanks.

Because of their exposed positions under and at the sides of the truck, there's little protecting those thin metal tanks (and the hundreds of gallons of fuel they can hold) from rupturing during a wreck. Most would agree that an 18-wheeler crash like the one in Allen is bad enough without also becoming a fiery one, yet truck manufacturers have shown little interest in re-evaluating how the tanks are made or attached. Click below to read more.

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