Houston, TX Gasoline Trucks Collide, Feb 1962


Houston (AP) -- Two tank trucks -- one of them carrying 8,100 gallons of high octane gasoline -- collided in a predawn fog today. Both drivers were killed as explosions and fire engulfed both vehicles.
Those killed were WILLIAM T. GREGORY, 40, and THOMAS BELL, 58, both of Houston.
GREGORY had just started a trip to Bryan after loading his truck with gasoline at the Coastal Transport Co. terminal.
BELL'S truck was empty. It belonged to the Unico Co., Abilene.
Accident investigator C. G. Wright said the trucks collided as the empty vehicle made a left turn off the Hempstead highway (U.S. 290) just inside the Houston city limits. The two vehicles, clinging together, then careened into a metal utility pole.
"I saw a man crawling slowly away from one of the trucks," he said. "He was on fire. Then the fire surrounded him and I couldn't see him any more."
This was the driver of the empty truck. GREGORY'S charred body was found later in the twisted wreckage of his truck cab.
Highway traffic in the area was blocked about four hours. The crash also knocked out a 12,000-volt power line, plunging the area into darkness.
Firemen brought the fire under control two hours later with the use of chemicals.

Corpus Christi Times Texas 1962-02-03