Randall McDougal, a 63 years old man was driving a commercial truck carrying chemicals for fertilizers last week when his truck suddenly caught fire. McDougal instead of abandoning the truck tried to extinguish the fire and when it did not help, he drove it to a remote unpopulated place where it exploded and killed him. Although police are still investigating the entire situation, people are calling McDougal as a hero who saved numerous lives.
Arkansas State Police’s report states that the remains of the driver Mr. McDougal, who was from El Dorado, were discovered from a site located along the U.S. Highway 278 west of Camden located at the eastern side of Nevada – Ouachita county line close to the Arkansas Highway 57.
At the day of the incident, Mr. McDougal was driving his truck while transporting a batch of ammonium nitrate when the brakes of his truck suddenly caught on fire. Noticing the fire, he called 911. After that instead of getting out of the car, he drove it to a remote unpopulated area and parked where there were no houses or any other building. However, he did not stop just at that. The first responders on the scene who were evacuating the nearby residents said that he was trying to put out the fire. Unfortunately, the tanker exploded shortly after and caused a huge 15 feet crater on the ground and the explosion also killed Mr. McDougal on the spot.
A one-mile area along that site of the accident has been sealed. Robert Medford, The Camden Fire Chief told media, “it seemed as if a bomb exploded there. Where the truck once stood, there is now a big hole in the ground.”
The story was shared by another truck driver who online alias is “Bam Bam”. People have greatly appreciated the heroic gesture of MR McDougal and they are extending their prayers to his family. They are referring to him as a Hero who placed his life down for the other.
As for the damaged road, the city’s Department of Transportation started working to fill the crater after removing the wreckage as the road has daily traffic of 1300 vehicles.
The spokeswoman of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, Melody Daniel told media that the cause of the truck to suddenly catch fire is yet to be uncovered. She also told that 3 of the firefighters at the scene were injured and were admitted to the hospital and now they have all been released.
Ron Nash, The Camden Fire Department Assistant Chief told media that the blast force of the explosion was so massive that it tore the tops of many surrounding pine trees in the vicinity as well as completely shattered the windshield of the fire truck along with the windshield of a Camden Fairview School District bus.
Below is the video of the scene in Camden after the explosion.