Fiery 6-Vehicle Crash Kills Tanker Driver and Young Family of 4by Jana Ritter - Published: 5/17/2017
Another tragic chain reaction crash has occurred as the result of a driver failing to slow down while approaching a highway traffic back up. Not did it cost the truck driver his life, but also killed a family of four and left four other motorists seriously injured.
July 27th: 3 Teens Dead, 1 Injured After Vehicle Slams Into Parked Semi Trailer
July 25th: More Details Emerge In Deadly Smuggling Operation, Truck Driver Could Face Death Penalty
July 23rd: Trucker Arrested After Botched Smuggling Attempt Leaves 9 Dead and Several in Critical Condition
The situation went from bad to worse when the tanker proceeded to crash into a second tractor-trailer and pushed it into a third commercial truck. The impact then caused the fuel tanker to ignite and erupt into flames as it careened across the median and onto the shoulder of the highway. Several vehicles immediately caught fire, as did parts of the median and shoulders of the interstate. Footage captured by drivers showed the horrific aftermath of mangled wreckage and a charred SUV amongst the blazing fires and thick black smoke.
While fire crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly, the interstate remained closed for hours as first responders and investigators did the difficult job of surveying the real damage. A total of five victims including the tanker truck driver were pronounced dead at the scene and four people were flown to hospitals with serious injuries. The two other tractor-trailer drivers were treated and released at the scene.
On Wednesday, authorities identified all five people who tragically lost their lives:
The tanker truck driver was identified as 68-year-old Michael Elliott Bricker of Myrtle Beach, SC.
The mother, father and two children in the pick-up truck were identified as Elise Spennati, 32, Cole Spennati, 25, Aila Spennati, 4, and Sianna Spennati, 1. The family resided together in Goose Creek, SC.,
Interstate 95 was closed in both directions for hours causing traffic to back-up for miles before all lanes finally reopened early Wednesday morning.