A collision between a fuel tanker and a sedan claimed the life of a 45-year-old Boiling Springs man on Thursday afternoon, according to Orangeburg County Chief Deputy Coroner Sean Fogle.
Thomas R. Reeves of Benning Farm Drive died due to injuries sustained in the fire and collision on the U.S. Highway 301 overpass, where it connects with Interstate 95, Fogle said.
He said Reeves’ immediate cause of death is pending as the case is still under investigation.
S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Matt Southern said the collision occurred at 2:27 p.m. when a 2016 Freightliner tractor-trailer, driven by Reeves, collided with a 2012 Acura on the U.S. 301 overpass.
The crash occurred as the tractor-trailer was traveling northbound on U.S. 301 and the Acura was exiting from southbound I-95 onto U.S. 301.
The tractor-trailer overturned and caught fire, Southern said.
The two occupants of the Acura were wearing their seatbelts and weren’t injured, Southern said. It is undetermined if Reeves was wearing a seatbelt.
Orangeburg County Office of Emergency Services Director Billy Staley said that the tanker was hauling 1,000 gallons of diesel and 7,300 gallons of gasoline when the collision occurred.
“Some of it burned and some of it spilled,” Staley said.
Staley said efforts to put out the blaze and contain the spill on Thursday were conducted safely.
He noted that the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will monitor the efforts to clean up the remaining fuel at the site.
For the time being, the U.S. 301 overpass remains closed. Traffic is rerouted onto Old Number Six Highway through Santee.