Two Truckers Could Face Charges in Horrific Fiery Crash That Left 10 Dead, NTSB Says
Butler County, AL – Two truckers could face criminal charges for their role in a fiery crash along an Alabama interstate in June that left ten people dead.
The horrific scene unfolded on Saturday, June 19 at approximately 2:20 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 near the 138 mile marker.
A preliminary report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed the accident first began when a 2020 Volvo semi pulling an empty auto transporter — operated by Los Alamitos, CA-based Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport — was traveling north in the right lane and approached a bridge over Pigeon Creek.
“Traffic north of the bridge had slowed and stopped, forming a queue, due to a series of minor crashes,” the NTSB noted. “There had been intermittent bands of rain of varying intensity throughout the day, and a light rain was falling at the time of the crash.”
The auto hauler failed to stop and collided into a 2020 Ford Explorer occupied by a driver and three passengers.
Cody Fox, 29, of New Hope, TN, and his 9-month-old daughter were inside the Ford and perished in the crash.
The big rig then continued to the left before striking a Ford F350 transit van occupied by a driver and nine passengers.
The van was owned by the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch, an organization which says its mission is to offer a home to “Alabama’s needy, neglected, or abused, school-age children.”
First responders were able to drag the driver of the van from the burning vehicle, but tragically, eight girls inside the van — ranging in ages from 3 to 17 years old — were pronounced dead at the scene.
The NTSB reported that after plowing the van, the car hauler then struck “other queued vehicles” before colliding into the left bridge rail and continuing on into the median — beyond the north end of the bridge — finally coming to rest with a portion of its trailer in the roadway.
The impact from the crash resulted in the Ford overturning and striking several other vehicles before also coming to rest in the roadway.
That’s when a 2005 Freightliner semi pulling a dry van trailer, operated by Clarkston, GA-based Asmat Express, “came upon the stopped vehicles, veered left, struck and mounted the left bridge rail, struck the van, and came to rest in the median,” the NTSB report states.
The van also came to rest in the median, facing south, between the car hauler and the Freightliner.
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As a result of the collisions, multiple vehicles burst into flames consuming the tractor-trailers, the van, and three other vehicles.
In all, ten people perished and 26 people, including the drivers of the van and the car hauler, sustained injuries of varying degrees.
Below is the scene of the aftermath.
The identities of the truck drivers have not been released by authorities, but the NTSB confirmed they remain under investigation as well as the motor carriers.
“The NTSB continues to collect data on the crash sequence, the post-crash fire, the weather conditions and precipitation amounts, and the operations of the motor carriers,” the report states. “The NTSB is working alongside the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), which is conducting a separate, parallel, criminal investigation.”
Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport has 41 terminals throughout the U.S.
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the company has 1,225 tractors and employs 914 drivers.
The truck driver operated out of a terminal in Birmingham, AL.
Asmat Express is a general freight hauler operating 29 power units and employing 29 drivers.
The NTSB indicated the Asmat driver involved in the crash was an owner-operator.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow the ongoing investigation.