Woman charged after crashing into truck, causing fatal explosion

Photo via Leigh Isaacson
Photo via Leigh Isaacson
Photo via Leigh Isaacson
Photo via Leigh Isaacson

A wrong-way driver crashed into a tanker truck causing a fiery explosion that killed the tanker driver, according to the New Orleans Fire Department.

A fire broke out just after 2:30 a.m. on Friday near the intersection of Claiborne and Franklin avenues. Police say that the tanker burst into flames near Quickie's Gas Station.

The New Orleans Fire Department states that they first received reports of an accident in the area involving a diesel-carrying tanker with 8,500 gallons of fuel and a second vehicle. Fire officials state that a female driver was driving the wrong direction down North Claiborne Avenue when the accident occurred.

After striking the vehicle, the tanker crashed into the gas station's sign. The tanker exploded shortly after the crash.

The driver of the car going the wrong way has been identified as Shannon Morris, 33, of New Orleans. She was driving a black 204 Acura MDX. She has been booked with negligent homicide.

Crews battling the massive blaze blocked off roadways within a half-mile radius of the tanker. The fire was classified as a level two hazardous materials incident because of the amount of fuel and the location of the accident. The fire was brought under control around 6:30 a.m.

Crews state that they were not able to immediately approach the vehicle as the flames were so intense. The driver of the tanker was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was pulled from the cab after the fire had been extinguished.

His name has not been released. Police state that the driver worked for Star Oil Company out of Metairie.

Morris left the scene after the accident out of fear for her safety, according to police. EMS received a 911 call from Morris, who was at her home and said she needed medical assistance. Once EMS arrived they said she refused treatment so the medical workers contacted the NOPD and she was later arrested by police.

Morris was given a breathalyzer test and blood was taken to determine if she had been drinking. The results of those tests have not been released.

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