Carroll County Sheriff Dale Williams said the call came in to 911 dispatch at 5:50 p.m. Thursday evening that a tanker truck had crashed and rolled and was on fire on State Route 332 south of Carrollton.
The truck was owned by Farmers Propane and had just received a full load at the Scio Gas Plant. It is estimated the truck held 10,000 gallons of propane.
The driver of the truck, David William Ross, was 48 years old and lived in Meadville, Pennsylvania with his wife and children ages 12 and 18. Ross did not survive the crash.
Ross’ wife told authorities she had received a text message from her husband at 5:36 p.m. while his truck was being loaded at Scio.
Williams said Farmers Propane had tracked the rig until Penny Road where they lost contact with Ross.
“This appears to have been an accident. A terrible accident. I have spoken with Mrs. Ross and we will do everything we can to find the answers regarding this crash. Anytime a life is lost, it is one life too many,” stated Williams.
The investigation is on-going and not complete according to Williams but at this time it appears the truck went off the right side of the road on the crest of a small hill. It appears the truck jackknifed as it slid down the hill off the side of the road and into a small lake.
As the truck jackknifed and slid down the side of the hill into the lake, it took out 275 feet of guardrail and three utility poles.
The fire and intensity of the heat of the burning tanker prohibited rescue workers from removing Ross. The deceased was removed from the scene by Carroll County Coroner Dr. Mandal B. Haas. The autopsy will be performed at Cuyahoga County.
The accident scene is being re-structured by officials in order to determine exactly what happened. From evidence at the scene it appears an inside tire may have had a blow out and the explosion of that time sent the outer tire off the truck. It was found alongside the road, passed the final resting place of the truck.
Williams and his deputies responded to the scene along with county EMA, Carrollton Village Fire Department, Dellroy, Scio, Bowerston, Fox, and Perrysville Township fire departments.
Phone service was disrupted to the area of the crash and on Friday afternoon, it was still unclear as to when service could be restored.
Williams, his deputies and many firefighters were at the scene throughout the night. Firefighters will remain at the scene throughout Friday. It is uncertain when State Route 332 will be re-opened to traffic. Drivers are asked to stay clear of the area and please use an alternate route.