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Selma oil tanker crash under investigation

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SELMA — Police Chief Billy Thomas said no charges have been filed in a collision between two fuel transport trucks that occurred near the intersection of U.S. 301 and U.S. 70 around 5:20 a.m. April 24.

“We are trying to complete the investigation,” Thomas said on Friday. “This has been an extremely busy week.”

Police hadn’t determined what led up to the crash or who was at fault as of the Johnstonian News’ press time.

“We are still investigating thoroughly before making any decisions,” said Thomas.

The wreck prompted law enforcement officers to detour all traffic in the area while the scene was cleaned up, said Selma Fire Chief Phillip McDaniel.

A tanker driven by Ronald Parker and owned by Dixie Oil Co. of Ronaoke Rapids collided with a tanker driven by Dale Fairley and owned by Eagle Transport of Selma, according to police. Traffic at the busy intersection was shut down for five hours.

McDaniel said one driver sustained minor injuries and the other had serious injuries. Both men were taken to local hospitals for treatment.

McDaniel said diesel fuel in one of the trucks had to be offloaded to another vehicle, but no fuel was spilled at the site and hazardous materials damage was minimal.

“This could have been a lot worse,” said Thomas. “It could have been another ‘Catch Me Eye’ explosion.

The wreck’s location is known locally as “Catch Me Eye” and is where a truck bound for Fort Bragg in 1942 loaded with 30,000 pounds of munitions collided with a car and caught on fire about 100 yards north of Catch Me Eye, bringing traffic to a halt.