A milk tanker and a car collided at a downtown intersection Wednesday morning. When it was over, two cars and a semi-tractor were destroyed in a fire and one person was taken to the hospital. The cause of the accident is under investigation by Metro Police and the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Fire dispatchers received a number of calls at 7:35 a.m. that a tanker truck and a car crashed in the intersection of Foremaster Street and Las Vegas Boulevard North and that the vehicles were on fire and someone was trapped inside the car. A few minutes later, reports were received that a large building on the corner was also on fire as well as another vehicle.
When firefighters arrived on scene they found the tractor of a milk tanker fully involved with fire. A car that had hit the right side of the tractor near the fuel tank was also on fire. Firefighters were told that everyone was out of the vehicles. As the fire burned, leaking fuel from the 130 gallon diesel fuel tank flowed along Foremaster and caught fire. That fuel flowed under a parked car on Foremaster and started that vehicle on fire also. Heat from the fire was also impacting a signal light utility pole and a large building on the corner.
Firefighters had the fire under control in a few minutes. The fire completely destroyed the three vehicles, caused heavy damage to the stainless steel tanker and the utility pole. The nearby building was not damaged. Firefighters' next concern was the remaining 100 gallons of diesel fuel that continued to leak from the other tank on the tractor.
The department's Hazardous Material response team was dispatched to the scene and, working with company representatives and city crews, was able to contain the leaking fuel until a private hazardous materials clean up team could take over the scene.
The cause of the accident is under investigation. The driver of the tanker told fire officials that he had just left the yard at Anderson Dairy on Searles Street to go on Foremaster to fill the truck with milk. As he was slowly turning wide onto Foremaster from Las Vegas Boulevard with his lights flashing, he felt a large thump and saw a fire in his rear view mirror. He exited the tractor with a fire extinguisher and saw the car, which had hit the side of the tractor as it was turning. He tried to put the fire out with the fire extinguisher, but the fire was too large and intense. He noticed the driver of the car had exited the vehicle. At the same time, an AMR ambulance pulled up to the scene and took the driver of the car, who appeared to be shaken up in the accident, to UMC. The extent of the driver's injuries is not known because she was transported before firefighters arrived on scene.
Las Vegas Boulevard North is closed from Washington Avenue to Owens Avenue and Foremaster is closed from Bruce to Main Street as the clean up and investigation continues.