Here's Video of an 18-Wheeler's Fatal Plunge Off an I-30 Overpass in Grand Prairie

Categories: News
Investigators aren't sure what caused James Anthony Long, a 59-year-old from Clarksville, Tennessee, and his 2012 Freightliner to veer off an I-30 overpass in Grand Prairie.

"Witnesses indicated it just veered off, hit the embankment, and was unable to gain control," police spokesman Lyle Gensler told WFAA.

The video above, recorded by North Texas Tollway Authority cameras positioned on President George Bush Turnpike, capture only what happened after the 18-wheeler was already airborne.

Long was killed in the crash. First responders were reportedly unable to free him before the cab burst into flames.

The truck belonged to B&M Trucking of Gallatin, Tennessee and was carrying a load of ceramic tile.

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62 comments
Natalie Von Blair
Natalie Von Blair

My husband along with another man named Olaf where the only people to actually run into the flames. My husband touched the mans shoe and kept trying to pull him out, but he kept digging into the floorboard the opposite way. My husband had to watch this man burn and hear him. It was the worst thing he's ever told me. His hands are all cut up from pulling back the glass in the front window. And he had minor burns on the top of his head from the fire. I just want all of you to recognize that there where 2 good men that tried to save him. One a Marine, who was my husband. And the other Olaf who was a fire fighter. The reason the truck bursted into flames was because it was carrying diesel fuel in the tank, because those trucks run off of diesel fuel. We are all praying for his family and unfortunately these things happen. It is sad. But we do what we can and keep moving forward. I hope his family is able to do the same.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo whatz uh bunchz o' rubberneckerz.

Vickie Vertel
Vickie Vertel

Amazing people who were willing to assist, running to an inferno. I saw the people in this video running towards the accident, not the cars pulling away. Perspectives are always fascinatingly interesting.

casiepierce
casiepierce

Guy in the first white SUV? Complete dick. Can you get TxDOT to publish his plates so the rest of us can avoid him at all costs? Like especially when he's in a crash, so we can remember not to render help...

Lindsey Nunn
Lindsey Nunn

I'm disappointed in DO for posting such sensationalist gawk material... A man died. There's no reason to watch it happen.

Osvaldo Garcia
Osvaldo Garcia

Some of them dudes with lifted trucks should of put their chevy power to work by pulling them doors off or some crazy f&f shit.

Blake Wilson
Blake Wilson

Nuts? More like badd ass (intentional extra D)!!! Clearly we need more regulation.

J_A_
J_A_

Honestly the fact that someone's first instinct is to pull over & try to save the guy makes me feel like there are still good people in the world. Kudos to that guy.

Ambelleina Warwillow
Ambelleina Warwillow

I don't think running from a vehicle on fire with combustible liquids inside is a cowardly action. My instant mental reaction would be to help, but my body might not want to let me run into a burning building, as it were.

Christine Adam Davis
Christine Adam Davis

The people that left were probably just scared it would explode. They might have even had children with then. Not everyone has it in them to respond well in high stress situations. I can tell I would have helped in a heart beat. Just glad no one else got hurt because this could have been really bad!

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

So what happened on 183 and Bush yesterday afternoon about the same time? I was stuck while a huge black plume and flames were visible. I was able to exit and take a go around, but never saw the story of what happened? 


matt.helm75
matt.helm75

Kudos to the people that got out of their cars in an attempt to render aid.  

Tammy Laney
Tammy Laney

I don't think I'd have been running up there to help, either. That situation was too risky.

JSSS
JSSS

All those people stop to stare and one person goes to help?!

Alfonso Castillo
Alfonso Castillo

Some Peolpe Dont Want to Help Because they dont Want to Feel like Heroe..?

Ixchel Aguilar
Ixchel Aguilar

I have to note that in the trailer was ceramic tile, and nothing was left of it!!!!??? That is a hot fire, since ceramic would incenerate at what temperature? It really is unimaginable. my heart goes out to victim and family.

ballzac
ballzac

Maybe he/she had young children in the car. Perhaps even a baby in a carseat. It was a Suburban. And they didn't want to expose their children, or baby, to the plume of black smoke coming from a truck carrying an unknown load that may or may not explode. Or perhaps they just didn't feel the compulsion to risk their lives, risk the lives of the kids, or potentially orphan the kids and/or expose them to the sight of the deceased driver to maybe help a stranger who was being "helped" by 10 other people. I think most people's instinct would be towards their children. 

anon
anon

@casiepierce it is incredibly, incredibly dangerous to get out of your car on a highway that has not been closed down by law enforcement. the people who did that are not brave - they are foolish and they put themselves at risk of being hit by other drivers and they put other drivers at risk if they don't see them soon enough and have to swerve to avoid them. the white SUV turned around to get away from the truck but it stayed on the interior median. there is no indication from the footage you have seen that he drove off the exit ramp and went on with his day (it might have happened, but you don't have any evidence to support your comment). and finally, without knowing what's in the truck and the extent of the accident, I'd stay away from it too. burning trucks can explode. 

NOWiGETit
NOWiGETit

@casiepierce He doesn't completely go off screen in that video.  I like to think he was possibly just trying to get his car clear of the truck in case it exploded?

casiepierce
casiepierce

@JaniceA And the fact that someone's first instinct is to back up, turn around and get the hell out of there makes me even more cynical than I was when I woke up this morning. 


nathan_mclain
nathan_mclain

@JSSS You might need to watch again, b/c numerous people got out to help.

anon
anon

@ScottsMerkin @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul agree that it probably wasn't alcohol but in terms of the effects on your judgment, reaction times, and other critical thinking skills, extreme fatigue can act more or less the same as alcohol. and unless I'm mistaken, there are laws controlling truck drivers' hours that are intended to minimize the incidence of fatigue. so if he's breaking the law and driving more than the legal number of hours, it's not any different in my book from driving drunk. medical emergency is another plausible cause.

observist
observist topcommenter

@ruddski  GPS told him "turn right now" and he froze up trying to figure out if it meant "turn right, now" or "turn, right now".

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @everlastingphelps @ruddski 

Waaaaaay back in the 1900's I remember one of my buddies that was really into fishing had a GPS unit in his boat that he used to mark all of his favorite "secret fishin' spots" while everyone else was still using bleach-bottle buoys. 

It was a Lowrance brand and was about the size of a small 12" flatscreen television. Very primitive - as I recall, you had to plot your own "waypoints" and the screen was nothing but a bare field that described a line that told you where you had been. It also provided you with longitude and latitude coordinates, but unless you were some sort of navigation expert, it was really pretty useless as opposed to today's units with built in maps and all.

More than anything, it looked like a sophisticated etch-a-sketch and seemed about as useful. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin@ruddski

Id love to see a pic of a GPS device in 2004.  Had to be like a Laserdisc size player right?

Nope, same size as today, just more expensive. (Had one.)

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaulYup.  Professional drivers know that anything above 0.0 ends up with them losing their commercial drivers license and therefore being fired.  The only people you can RELY on to be sober on the road are truckers.

I'm guessing some sudden medical emergency, like a heart attack or an aneurysm. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@ruddski Id love to see a pic of a GPS device in 2004.  Had to be like a Laserdisc size player right?

ruddski
ruddski

His GPS was last updated in 2004.

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