Driver Killed After Tanker Overturns, Burns In Church Parking Lot

A fatal fuel tanker accident shut down Cleveland Road Monday morning.  The wreck was reported around 10:00am on Cleveland Road near the Lee Trace Subdivision about 5 miles from Smithfield.

The tanker truck ran off the roadway and overturned in the parking lot of Elizabeth United Methodist Church.  The cab of the truck burst into flames.

Several fire departments, including the foam truck from the Selma Fire Department, quickly responded and extinguished the flames before they could reach the loaded tanker, which was estimated to be carrying as much as 6,000 gallons of fuel.

A small rupture of the fuel tank was reported but the spill was minimal.

The driver of the tanker was killed in the crash. His body has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Raleigh for identification.

Cleveland Road is expected to be closed in both directions for much of the afternoon.  The NC Department of Transportation, Highway Patrol and Johnston County Sheriff’s Office are detouring drivers around the accident scene.

The cause of the single vehicle crash remains under investigation. Photos by