Tanker truck of ethanol catches fire in Lexington

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Donnell Griffin lives on Beck’s Church Road where every day she says tankers speeding through her neighborhood cause her to live in fear.

Her concern has been heightened after the back tires of a tanker filled with 8,000 gallons of ethanol caught fire Wednesday night, nearly exploding yards away from her home.

"It shook the house,” Griffin said. “We could feel it as much as we could hear it."

"If it weren't for the firefighters last night pouring water on that rig, it probably would have blown."

Griffin fears a real explosion could easily happen any day.

She says on most days, tankers speed past her home above the 45 mph speed limit.

Her home sits behind a high voltage power transmission tower.

"My concern is now that I know its ethanol, one of these tankers is going to hit the curve then hit that power transmitter," Griffin said.

"It's going to be a huge explosion,” said Lori Mancuso who lives with Griffin. “It's going to level houses. It's a horrible thought."

It’s a concern Sgt. Robert Abernathy with North Carolina Highway Patrol hears almost daily.

"We're all frustrated equally," Abernathy said. "Overwhelmingly the complaints have been coming in for the past two months."

He says extra troopers have been patrolling the road, but haven't issued any citations in the past six months.

Even so, Davidson County officials are working on a plan to ease concerns says Abernathy.

"Relocate them to a different route, so it's not as prevalent on Beck's Church Road."

A plan people like Donnell want put into action before it's too late "8,000 gallons of ethanol are going to go up, boom,” Griffin said. “They're not going to be able to stop that fire."


  • Wes Webster

    I just returned from a 1 hour bike ride on a very rural, narrow residential road in southern Davidson county and was passed by 5 tankers hauling ethanol. These tankers should NOT be hauling explosive material in residential areas. Do we have to wait until houses are destroyed and lives are lost before they are made to travel only on highways??…rediculous

  • emanddd

    It’s ok for all the other trucks that haul hazardous material to go into residential areas jut not tankers? Mot people don’t realize the amount of trucks that go by their houses everyday that have far worse commodities than ethanol.

  • Eco 1

    The broadcast made it out to be such a dangerous life threatening tragedy, that tankers travel that road. Making a statement about knowing that a tanker is going to wreck and explode. Sorry to burst your bubble complaining citizens but those drivers are the best on the road. The real problem here is that you have nothing better to do than complain about progress. Here’s a thought, stop driving so much and those tankers won’t have to haul so much. The fact of the matter is No Ethanol no gas period…….thank your government for mandating it.

  • Eco Driver

    The people on Beck’s Church road need to stop crying that is the safes way to interstate i-85 and we are trying to do our job. The next road we go on will be the same way. And by the way we run the speed limit which is 45 and slow down the cars from speeding.

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