Posted on May 30, 2013

A fiery multi-vehicle collision claimed the lives of two people on U.S. 277 near Bomarton in Baylor County. The crash involved two trucks and a pickup hauling a flatbed at around 1:15 in the afternoon. 

Randy West, a truck driver from Tennessee, was hauling pipe on his rig and said the accident happened when a one-ton pickup truck driving north on U.S. 277 swerved into the southbound lanes. The pickup struck West's rig and then hit an oncoming tanker truck head on. There was an initial explosion from the tanker truck, believed to be filled with fuel. It jackknifed and leaked hazardous material on to the highway. The flames from the truck caused a small grass fire to start, as well. The tanker was doused with foam by firefighters, and they let excess fuel burn off for about three hours. 

Some witnesses said another vehicle, possibly a minivan, was involved in the accident, but there was no further proof of that at the scene. 

The two victims who were killed have been identified as Jerry Jones, 56, of Noble, Oklahoma and Kermith Johnson, 65, of Abilene. Jones was the driver of the Dodge pickup, and Johnson was driving the tanker truck. 

The Wichita Falls Fire Department sent several units to assist at the scene. A large portion of U.S. 277 was closed following the wreck, and traffic was rerouted. Crews worked on the reopened highway through the evening hours to clean all of the debris from the road. The bodies were sent to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office for autopsies. 

We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the victims' families following this horrific trucking collision. 

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