DELAWARE STATE POLICE BEAT / Smokie’s say Bandits Smoke was Fire
BEAR, DEL. – The Delaware State Police report that they responded to an oil truck that caught fire on Rt. 1 near Bear, Del.
The incident occurred around 7:24 a.m., Saturday, August 6, 2016, as Virgil M. Patterson, 53, of Middletown, was operating a 2009 Freightliner Tanker truck, owned by Craft Oil Corporation, southbound on SR1 approaching School House Road. He heard a loud band and initially thought he had blown a tire, but smoke began billowing into the driver’s compartment.
Patterson pulled the truck, which was carrying over 1000 gallons of engine oil, to the shoulder of the road after which coming to a stop, the engine compartment became engulfed in flames. Patterson attempted to extinguish the flames with an on-board fire extinguisher but was unable to put out the fire which was quickly spreading. A passerby assisted moving Patterson out of the proximity of the truck until the local fire company could arrive to put the fire out. He was not injured in the incident.
DNREC, DelDOT, and Belvedere Hazmat teams remained on scene for approximately three and a half hours while the cleanup of the contaminants was conducted. Traffic was also impacted during those three and a half hours with lane restrictions.