Fertilizer chemicals ignite, killing trucker and blowing a hole in Arkansas highway

By Wendy Parker, Land Line staff writer | 4/5/2019

A trucker who was killed when his tanker full of fertilizer chemicals caught fire and exploded was laid to rest Friday.

The driver, Randall McDougal, 63, of El Dorado, Ark., was carrying a load of ammonia nitrate from El Dorado to Texarkana on March 27 when his vehicle caught fire. According to a news release from the Arkansas State Police, McDougal pulled over and was attempting to extinguish the blaze when the chemicals ignited, setting off an explosion that left a 15-foot deep hole in U.S. Highway 278, near Camden, Ark. The blast also injured three firefighters.

The news release states that area fire department personnel were notified about 6:40 a.m. on the day of the explosion that the truck brakes caught fire and the driver was attempting to extinguish the blaze. Fire department personnel on the scene had begun to evacuate residents who live in the area and reportedly witnessed McDougal return to the truck when it exploded.

McDougal was employed by Blann Trucking Co. of Hampton, Ark.

Those who knew McDougal have no doubt he consciously made the decision to put himself in harm’s way to keep others safe. McDougal’s son, Jason McDougal, told KATV their family has peace in knowing his father died a hero.

 

 

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