What appears to be a
case of mob mentality ended with an overturned tanker of diesel, an injured
driver and the evacuation of an apartment complex.
In the early hours
of Tuesday, July 5, trucker Rafael Diaz was traveling eastbound on Donald Lee
Hollowell Highway when he was hit in the head with a bottle rocket, Atlanta
police told news Web site accessnorthga.com.
The shock caused
Diaz to lose control of his truck – and the 7,500 gallons of diesel in its
tanker trailer – which crossed the westbound lane of traffic, smashed a fire
hydrant, flipped on its side and slid down an embankment into an apartment
complex parking lot.
According to the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, firefighters evacuated the apartments near where the
truck careened to a stop. Jolene Butts Freeman, a spokesperson for the Atlanta
Fire Department, told the Journal Constitution that only about 20
gallons of fuel leaked from the truck, and a second tanker was brought in to
remove the damaged rig’s payload.
Freeman told the Journal-Constitution that a crowd of as many as 50 people had climbed onto the flipped truck by the
time firefighters arrived on the scene.
“It’s something out
of a movie,” Freeman said. “Why they were on top of the tanker, it beats me.”
The driver was taken
to nearby Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for serious facial
injuries, Atlanta police spokesperson Sgt. Keven Losty told accessnorthga.com.
Losty also said no arrests have been made.