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Bonham man identified as driver killed in fiery semi tanker accident

(KXII)
Published: Sep. 14, 2017 at 10:30 PM CDT
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A Bonham, Texas, man died in a fiery tanker accident Thursday night in Marshall County on U.S. Highway 70, two miles west of the Roosevelt Bridge.

Kingston Police have confirmed that the driver was Glen Smith, 35, from Bonham. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Thursday night part of Highway 70 was shut down for nearly nine hours while firefighters investigated the fiery accident.

"I came around the corner and this huge plume of black smoke and the fire was going 100 feet in the air," Dennis Eakle said. "It had to be 100 feet in the air at that time and it just literally looked like a plane crash."

Eakle owns the motel right across the street.

"I freaked out," he said. "My wife was behind me and I told her stay behind me, don't look at this -- this is horrible."

Kingston Firefighters were called to the accident around 7:30 p.m, and say when they arrived the tank was already burned beyond recognition.

"The entire tank was engulfed in flames," Kingston Fire Chief James Kuykendell said. "It was very very heavy smoke as we were coming into the scene and then once we got on the scene so we couldn't really see past the rear end of the truck."

Kuykendell says the Lucky Oil and Gas tanker was holding thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.

He says it took about two and half hours to put out the flames and that hazmat crews will be cleaning for several more days.

"You never like to see that but it's pretty awe inspiring," Kuykendell said. "I mean it's just a huge ball of flames and smoke. It's just one of those things you have deal with it."