CHP: Driver of tanker in Tahoe crash swerved to avoid car

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KOLO) - The driver of a tanker truck who died after a crash in South Lake Tahoe was attempting to avoid a car that tried to turn in front of him.

This is a screenshot of a video provided by Chris Gallup of the fire on U.S. 50 between Meyers and South Lake Tahoe.

The crash happened Saturday, September 7, 2019 around 11:45AM on U.S. 50 at Elks Club Drive.

The California Highway patrol says the driver of the tanker was headed eastbound on U.S. 50 at about 50 miles per hour, approaching Elks Club Drive. The driver of a Prius was headed northbound on Elks Club Drive and attempted to turn onto westbound U.S. 50, directly in front of the tanker.

Authorities say the driver of the tanker hit the brakes and swerved, hitting the left side of the Prius. The tanker overturned and slid across the highway into a guardrail. One of the tanks started leaking gasoline, and the tanker exploded.

The resulting fire sent a thick column of black smoke into the air and drew a response from several fire agencies in the area.

The driver was unable to get out of the truck and was found dead after the fire was put out.

The Prius slid down an embankment following the crash. The driver was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe with a broken femur.

CHP says neither drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, and the driver of the Prius has not been cited, but charges may be requested.

The names of the drivers involved have not been released.

Authorities say the tanker was carrying 8,400 gallons of gasoline and an unknown amount leaked into the Upper Truckee River.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019


The Lake Valley Fire Protection District released this photograph of the scene of a fatal crash and tanker fire between South Lake Tahoe and Meyers.
A fire on U.S. 50 near South Lake Tahoe caught on the Alert Wildfire camera.