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Searching

Jackson, TN

#1 Jul 11, 2013
I am looking for anyone that witnessed or has any information about the gas truck explosion that occurred on Father's Day, 1979. I know that it happened near a truck stop as the truck was headed up an access ramp. There were 2 men inside the truck and both were killed. If anyone saw it or knows of anyone that did, please, comment here so we can get in touch with each other. This post is not a joke.
OldTimer

Marion, AR

#2 Jul 11, 2013
Searching wrote:
I am looking for anyone that witnessed or has any information about the gas truck explosion that occurred on Father's Day, 1979. I know that it happened near a truck stop as the truck was headed up an access ramp. There were 2 men inside the truck and both were killed. If anyone saw it or knows of anyone that did, please, comment here so we can get in touch with each other. This post is not a joke.
I recall a gas truck explosion but it was more like late 80's. Local boy missed a access ramp and died. Sorry, don't remember the one you refer to.
Searching

Jackson, TN

#3 Jul 11, 2013
It's ok. The one I am referring to happened during the trucker's strike of '79. There was a truck stop right across from where the explosion happened and they said you could feel the heat inside of it. And there were 2 men inside the truck. They had just fueled up. It was on a Sunday, Father's Day to be exact. Thank you for responding though.
old man

West Memphis, AR

#4 Jul 11, 2013
There was a gas truck explosion/wreck in front of the 76 truck stop on 7th street around that time. I believe two died in the fire. But there was no stop light near there. The closest stop light to location of the wreck was at Barton and 7th. The West Memphis police should have a record of it. Better yet check the Commercial Appeal archives for that time period. You can do so for free by going to the main Memphis library on Popular. The local West Memphis paper the Evening Times would have published a story about the wreck but they lost all archives several years ago in a fire.
If this crash was the same as the one I mentioned I know that the Commercial Appeal did publish a story on it.
If your looking for an eye witness I doubt you will find one, but most retired West Memphis police officers will remember it.
Searching

Jackson, TN

#6 Jul 12, 2013
Thanks Old Man, I will check the library and maybe try to find a way of contacting retired officers. One of those men killed was my father. I was 4 yrs old at the time. I have a newspaper clipping from the Commercial Appeal with a short writeup underneath it, but I really would like to talk to people that saw it.
Ramsteina1c

Marion, AR

#7 Jul 13, 2013
I remember the accident.
I was out flyng that day and saw the smoke and cirled the wreck.
The truck had turned over at 7th Street and the I-40/55 service road.
That would put it about 1980-81.
yes

Chicago, IL

#8 Jul 14, 2013
Ramsteina1c wrote:
I remember the accident.
I was out flyng that day and saw the smoke and cirled the wreck.
The truck had turned over at 7th Street and the I-40/55 service road.
That would put it about 1980-81.
I remember my dad talking about a bad wreck when I was a kid. He said 2 men were trapped in the truck, but the fire was too hot, and no one could get close enough to help the men out. I'm sorry for your loss.
Searching

Jackson, TN

#9 Jul 14, 2013
Thanks everyone for responding. I am really hoping to find someone that saw it.
Darla

West Memphis, AR

#10 Jul 23, 2013
My father witnessed that accident but he passed away in 1999. So very sorry for your loss.
Searching wrote:
I am looking for anyone that witnessed or has any information about the gas truck explosion that occurred on Father's7030 Day, 1979. I know that it happened near a truck stop as the truck was headed up an access ramp. There were 2 men inside the truck and both were killed. If anyone saw it or knows of anyone that did, please, comment here so we can get in touch with each other. This post is not a joke.
Searching

Jackson, TN

#11 Jul 23, 2013
Darla, I am so sorry for your loss as well. Do you remember anything at all he told you about that day? Or know of anyone else that was there?
so sorry

Chicago, IL

#12 Jul 24, 2013
Searching wrote:
Darla, I am so sorry for your loss as well. Do you remember anything at all he told you about that day? Or know of anyone else that was there?
My dad knew about this also.(He has since passed away also). I asked my mom about it and she said that he didn't witness it, but the men pulled out of the gas terminal at the south end of 7th/8th street right before my dad, and he heard about the wreck via CB Radio. She said what everyone else is saying. The fire was so bad that they couldn't help the men. I'm so sorry for your loss.
Searching

Jackson, TN

#13 Jul 24, 2013
Thanks, so sorry. I too am sorry of your father's passing. They had just loaded up w/7700 gallons of gasoline before the accident. I have so many questions w/no answers. Maybe one day someone that saw it will answer a few of them. Again, my sincerest thanks to everyone that has responded.
old man

West Memphis, AR

#14 Jul 24, 2013
What are some of your questions? I can ask around and see what I can find for you. If memory serves (an I doubt it does)I believe the truck was T-Boned at the insection and that triggered the fire then explosion. If you wish I might be able to get a police report on it but don't hold your breath as it would just be a lucky chance they could find it from that far back.
I do know several people tried to get the drivers out but it was to no avail because of the heat. But to be perfectly honest with you and I sorry to say, it was really to late at that time to do anything to save them as I believe they were gone soon after the fire erupted. Yes it was that fast ,in the blink of an eye. If I can help you farther please let me know.
old man

West Memphis, AR

#15 Jul 24, 2013
I did not witness the accident but I was one of the first responders. Sorry I can't help you more.
Searching

Jackson, TN

#16 Jul 24, 2013
You say that the truck was Tboned, this is a new version of the story to me. I do know they had just loaded w/the gasoline as previously stated and I am aware of the Strike going on. It was my understanding they were headed up a ramp and the load shifted causing them to overturn, however, I have also heard there was a rumor of gunshot before the accident. I was told he died when the truck exploded, but I do not know or have never heard if the truck burned first or just exploded. You say you were one of the first responders, did you pull the men from the wreckage? Were both men still inside the truck cab? A police report or newspapers clippigs/articles would be AWESOME!!!
old man

West Memphis, AR

#17 Jul 24, 2013
At the time I was with the West Memphis Fire Department, We were stationed at 7th and Thompson. Therefore we were only about a 1/2 mile away when the call came in. We got there quite quickly. I did not try to get the men out as it was my job to get the hose ready, but a few of the other firemen did try to get them out. But as I stated earlier it was to no avail. I remember hearing that even bystanders had tried to rescue them before we got there. Now as I also stated earlier that I "thought" it was a T-bone, but I'm sure I must have it confused with another wreck/fire. Remember I well over 70 and my memory is not that sharp anymore, and when you get my age you will understand what I mean.
As to a gun or gunshots being involved I don't remember hearing anything and I'm sure that I would remember that.
Now again "IF' memory serves, the truck was in flames when we got there and the bleve came later. I'm sorry but I have been involved as a fireman, in several wrecks similar to this and I just can't seem to distinguish what happened at each one. There are no local newspaper clippings from that time period unless in would be in the local library. I will check. I will also get with a friend of mine and see if we can find you a police report on it.
old man

West Memphis, AR

#18 Jul 24, 2013
BTW What was the exact date that this happened? It will help me to locate some of the info your looking for.
she only says

Marion, AR

#19 Jul 25, 2013
Fathers Day 1979. More research
she only says

Marion, AR

#20 Jul 25, 2013
Possibly the 3rd or 10th of June 1979?
Searching

Jackson, TN

#21 Jul 25, 2013
Fathers Day, June 17, 1979

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