Tanker crash injures driver, shuts down stretch of I-75
(WJBK) - A tanker fire shut down Interstate-75 in both directions at Outer Drive Thursday morning. Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw says the driver was critically injured and has been taken to the hospital for treatment.
The crash was reported about 3 a.m. Thursday on I-75 near the border of Detroit and Lincoln Park. Shaw says the tanker was carrying 8,000 gallons of fuel. FOX 2's Roop Raj has confirmed the driver worked for Corrigan Oil Company.
Investigators aren't sure at this time what caused the crash.
The Michigan Department of Transportation is urging drivers to avoid the area.
The southbound side at Schaefer reopened shortly after 11 a.m. The northbound side between Southfield and Outer Drive is still closed, and is expected to be closed for at least a week now, according to MDOT. You can check out real-time traffic on our map here.
Kelly Heidemann was driving just behind the tanker when the accident happened. She phoned in Thursday morning and talked to Roop Raj about what she saw.
She says the tanker lost control, crashed and went up into flames almost immediately. She called 911 shortly after.
"I pulled over on the side of the freeway; I was so shook up. I could feel the heat in my car. It was awful," she tells FOX 2. You can her more from her in her phone interview in the video player above.
Here are some photos from MDOT of the crash site:
App users tap here to see MDOT's Twitter feed. And here's a photo from FOX 2's Charlie Langton of what's left of the tanker:
Corrigan Oil Company has released the following statement on the accident:
"At approximately 3:00 AM today, Aug. 20, there was a fuel tanker accident on I-75 at Outer Drive on the border of Detroit and Lincoln Park.
Corrigan Oil Company has confirmed that our driver who was injured in the accident is being treated at a local hospital.
The safety and well being of our employees, contractors and neighbors is our first priority and we ask you to keep our driver in your thoughts and prayers.
Corrigan Oil Company is working with local authorities to determine the cause of the accident and as information becomes available, we will update you accordingly."
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates.