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Roosevelt man killed in crash with tanker truck

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MYTON, Duchesne County — A Roosevelt man died Thursday after a tanker truck jack-knifed, rolled and crushed his pickup truck.

The crash happened on Parriette Road near the junction with U.S. 40 about 6:55 a.m. when the driver of the tanker truck lost traction as he descended a hill on the two-lane road, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Brett Hansen.

One of the trailers being pulled by the truck jack-knifed and crossed into the oncoming lane, striking a pickup truck driven by Dean Townsend, 49, of Roosevelt, Hansen said. The tanker and its trailers rolled, crushing Townsend's pickup truck.

"He was pinned and died due to traumatic injuries," Hansen said.

The trailer that jack-knifed rolled down a hill and ruptured, spilling its load of black-wax crude oil. Some of the oil made it into an ice-covered irrigation canal at the bottom of the hill. The oil quickly solidified in the cold weather, due to its high paraffin content.

Crews from EnviroCare were called in to cleanup the spill, which the TriCounty Health Department estimated at 6,500 gallons of oil. A second tanker from Holly Trucking was also brought in to pump oil out of the overturned truck's primary tank.

Because of the extensive damage to the pickup truck, it took Roosevelt firefighters several hours to extricate Townsend from the wreckage. His body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office for autopsy.

The driver of the tanker truck, 49-year-old Darrel Wiser, of Nibley, Cache County, suffered a scrape on the neck, Hansen said. He was issued a citation for failure to operate in a single lane, the trooper said.

Troopers and Duchesne County sheriff's deputies will continue to investigate the crash and will submit their final reports to the Duchesne County Attorney's Office for review, Hansen said. They believe icy roads may have been a contributing factor.


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Geoff Liesik


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