Driver killed in fiery fuel tanker crash in Clayton
Posted May 22
Clayton, N.C. — A fiery crash involving a fuel tanker Monday morning left one man dead, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Around 10 a.m., officials responded to the scene in the 4800 block of Cleveland Road.
Authorities said the AJ Gaine's Oil truck from Chatham County veered off the road and hit two culverts, which caused the tanker to overturn and catch fire.
The driver, Joseph Steven D'Ascoli, 38, of Broadway, died. No other injuries were reported, authorities said.
Video from the scene showed crews extinguishing heavy flames after the truck ended up in the parking lot of the Elizabeth United Methodist Church.
Firefighters, who were at a nearby medical call, heard the crash and arrived at the scene almost immediately.
"There was a medical emergency right across the street from where this happened, so fire personnel got here fairly quickly," said Highway Patrol Sgt. Derek Mobley.
Authorities said it took over an hour to extinguish the fire.
"Cleveland Fire Department, Smithfield, Wilson MIlls all had representatives here. With it being a diesel fire, I believe they had to put foam on it instead of putting water on it. It was a little bit harder to put out than a normal straight fire," said Mobley.
The historic Elizabeth United Methodist Church burned down and was rebuilt in 1853, but the building was undamaged in Monday's crash.
Cleveland Road remained closed for a majority of the day Monday as hazmat teams cleaned up the fuel spill.
Authorities are still investigating why D'Ascoli veered off the road. Highway Patrol troopers said it was lucky no other cars were on the road or in the church parking lot at the time of the crash.