March 22, 2008, Grassland, Alta. - A pickup truck carrying fireworks lost control and crashed into a semi-trailer truck at a northern Alberta gas station, causing a huge fire that destroyed both vehicles.
March 23, 2008
By The Canadian Press
It happened late Friday night at the Flying J's Truck Stop in Grassland, about 100 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.
Boyle RCMP Kevin Woytas said the semi was parked in the gas station parking lot and the driver was getting ready to bed down for the night when he saw the pickup hurtling towards his truck.
Police say in a news release the four occupants inside the pickup were handling the fireworks and they went off inside the cab.
The pickup driver panicked and hit the gas instead of the brakes and drove through the ditch and into a concrete median, shearing off a light standard before slamming into one of the semi's diesel tanks.
The tank ruptured, spilling several thousand litres of fuel, and when the people inside the truck got out, the lit fireworks ignited the spilled fuel, causing a huge inferno.
The four suffered minor burns from the fireworks, while the truck driver was shaken but unhurt.
“It is extremely fortunate that all those immediately involved came out of this situation alive and unscathed, '' said RCMP Const. Karl Mandel.
“There was serious potential for a very deadly outcome had the semi's load been something more volatile.''
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