1 dead in fiery crash on I-95 involving 3 semis and a car; explosions wake up Port Orange residents within 1-mile radius

Editor's Note: Here is the latest update from the Florida Highway Patrol as of 5:30 p.m.:While unloading the hazardous materials from the burned tandem trailer, a leak developed in one of the ethyl bromine containers and affected the crane operator and another worker. The process was stopped to contain the leak and clean the area. At the same time another fire broke out on the shoulder from a fire still smoldering from the early morning initial fire. Then the tandem trailer began burning, again. All these incidents have delayed the removal of the vehicles and debris. The paving company is standing by to begin as soon as the fires are put out and the vehicles/debris is removed from the pavement. The mail trailer and the motor vehicle have been removed from the scene.
 
The pole trailer and tractor have been up righted and are being placed on low boy trailers. The tandem trailer with completely burned tractor is still being loaded into containers. The milling and paving should begin by 5:00 pm. The paving should take 4 hours (barring any other problems) with an additional hour of curing before vehicles can travel over it...shooting for a 10:00 p.m. road opening.
 
Previous update: Here is the latest update from the Florida Highway Patrol: The northbound lanes of I-95 at mile marker 257 remain closed. Tow trucks are on scene removing the vehicles and debris. After the scene is cleared, the road will be repaired by a paving company.
 
Approximately 100 feet of roadway will be repaired and repaved. Troopers expect the northbound lanes to be reopened by 9 tonight. This is subject to change and is an estimated time. The owner of the semi-truck hauling chemicals is owned by Southeastern Freight. The owner of the logging truck is Triple J logging out of Palatka.
 
Here is the original story:

Interstate northbound near Dunlawton ramp remains closed due to asphalt damage

A DOT camera shows the I-95 crash scene that awoke Port Orange residents within a mile radius from a firy crash.

PORT ORANGE -- One person was killed and four were injured following a fiery crash on I-95 at 3:30 this morning involving three semis and a fourth car with a series of explosions that could be heard by residents within a 1-mile radius near the Dunlawton Avenue exit.

Interstate 95 nothbound near the Dunlawton exit remains closed because of the asphalt damage result from the intense fire.

Alternate routes include Clyde Morris Boulevard, Nova Road and U.S. 1.

"The accident caused several loud explosions that woke residents over a mile away," Volusia County spokeswoman Pat Kuehn said.

A passenger vehicle and three semis -- a U.S. Postal Service truck, a logging truck, and a double semi that was carrying methyl bromide (MeBr), an odorless, colorless gas used as a soil and structural fumigant to control pests -- were caught up in the fiery wreck.

For unknown reasons, the driver of the logger semi, John Winkler, 58, of San Mateo, lost control and overturned, spilling logs onto the roadway as a result. That in turn caused a chain reaction crash involving two other semis and a passenger car. The double semi caught fire and exploded, releasing methyl bromide into the air. The driver, 66-year-old Francis Trammel of Neptune Beach, was pronounced dead at the scene, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Kim Montes said.

For unknown reasons, the driver of the logger semi, John Winkler, 58, of San Mateo, lost control and overturned, spilling logs onto the roadway as a result. That in turn caused a chain reaction crash involving two other semis and a passenger car. The double semi caught fire and exploded, releasing methyl bromide into the air. The driver, 66-year-old Francis Trammel of Neptune Beach, was pronounced dead at the scene, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Kim Montes said.

Four patients were transported to Halifax Health Medical Center, one by Sheriff's Air One and three by EVAC Ambulance. The logger driver, Winkler, suffered minor injuries and was transported to Halifax. Samuel Behar, 68, of Miami, the postal mail driver, was treated on scene for minor injuries.

The occupants of the passenger car, a 1997 Mazda, 16-year-old driver Victoria Granger, her mother, Pamela Granger, 42, and her sister, Sabrina Granger, 14, of New York, were all hospitalized with minor injuries.

Port Orange Fire Rescue was the lead agency on scene. Firefighters from Volusia County Fire Services, the Daytona Beach Fire Department and Florida Forest Service assisted.

Emergency workers who came in contact with toxic chemicals have been decontaminated. Earlier this morning, officials from Port Orange Fire Rescue advised residents east of the accident to stay indoors because of toxic smoke, but that advisory has been lifted, Kuehn said.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper in Lake Mary serving Central Florida via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Frederick was the top winner in the 2012 Florida Press Club contest: 1st place for Blog Writing & 3rd place each for General News Writing, Public Safety Reporting & Best Online Presence (with social media). He's received 18 major journalism awards as a breaking news, investigative reporter & city editor for daily newspapers in Florida, Massachusetts, New York & Connecticut since the mid-1980s. 
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