Tanker truck fire over but investigation, freeway repairs remain (UPDATED)

UPDATE (7:30 p.m.) In a statement, MDOT says that repairs should be finished by sometime Friday, weather permitting. The affected portion is the I-75 northbound ramp at I-375 where about 300 feet by 15 feet of damaged concrete will be replaced. 

A temporary concrete barrier will be placed along the ramp shoulders until repairs can be made to the barrier walls at a later date, the release said.

The flames and smoke could be seen for miles from the area known as Stroh's Curve at I-75 and I-375 in Detroit Sunday morning.

"When you see your life flash before your eyes, you don't know if you are going to survive or pass away," said Kai Moore, the truck driver. "Its a matter of seconds."

Seconds was all it took for Moore, 36, to know he was in trouble and that he had to get out of his overturned tanker immediately. He says a mechanical issue caused it to flip onto its passenger side right around 8:45 a.m. Sunday.

"All I can really remember is the tanker tipping over," he said. "Me impacting the ground and once it impacted the ground, it ignited and the flames came into the cab. I had to save my life. I had to unbuckle my seat belt. I couldn't panic."

Moore says as soon as he started running down the ramp, the 9,000 gallons of gas he had been lugging around started to catch fire. The flames and thick black smoke could be seen for miles and quickly became of the most photographed events of the day.

Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said that all involved were lucky that no one was injured.

"We were extremely lucky with the compacted nature of this event," Shaw said. "No other vehicles involved, no injuries. We can put out a fire and get a new truck, but we can't replace someone's life."

Crews are now tallying the damage so the road can be repaired as soon as possible and traffic can get back to normal - after a Sunday morning that was anything but.

As for Moore, he won't be allowed to drive for Nour Light Petroleum until the police investigation into what caused the crash is complete. But some time away is probably what's best for him now.

"I'm glad to be alive," he said. "Glad to be here and glad no one was injured."

Police are still in the middle of investigating what went wrong which includes several interviews with Moore and look at his tanker to make sure everything adds up. 
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