Cleanup continues after fiery tanker crash leaves driver dead in Frederick

Investigators are still working to learn what caused a tractor-trailer to crash in Frederick Saturday.

Maryland State Police have not yet identified the driver who died.

Officials have also not said what was in the truck that exploded along Route 15 near the Rosemont Avenue exit around noon Saturday, but said it was a commonly transported gasoline or diesel fuel.

A home was destroyed, displacing one family.

Bradd Hammond lives next door do that house, and said he hopes this crash is a catalyst for change, something he thinks neighbors will get behind.

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Cleanup continues after fiery tanker crash leaves driver dead in Frederick

"We've never banded together, but we certainly will now," Hammond told Fox 5. Hammond says he's had previous conversations with the Maryland State Highway Administration about safety.

Hammond lives on Apple Avenue, just feet from where the truck crashed. The homes are separated from the highway by a row of shrubs and large trees. One of those trees did appear to prevent the tractor trailer from going onto Apple Avenue. There are guard rails on the opposite side of the road between the highway and homes, but not on Hammond's side.

Hammond says trees are not enough:

"No. Absolutely not, the shrubbery is ridiculous it's useless pretty much, we should have a guard rail, we should have a wall, preferably. And, uh, the trees are wonderful, but they really are just sound absorption, that's about it."

Hammond and other neighbors tell Fox 5 the crashes feel all too frequent.

"It is scary because you never know when you're out here just walking or whatever," Lori Payne said.

"Sometimes it's kind of scary. Depends on the people. How they drive and stuff," said another neighbor, Jose Aguilar.

Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor fielded a question at Saturday's press conference giving details about the crash.

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Cleanup continues after fiery tanker crash leaves driver dead in Frederick

O'Connor indicated there was money tentatively budgeted for around 2028 to expand 15 through Frederick.

O'Connor says he has heard the neighbor concerns about doing something to make the stretch of road safer for them.

"Part of that conversation is sound barriers, the residents would certainly like to see that, and that's something that we'll continue to advocate for. We want the best, safest traffic through the city of Frederick that we could possibly get," O'Connor said.

As for the environmental impact of this crash, the Maryland Department of the Environment said it's continuing to work on cleanup.

The agency says vacuum trucks responded to the incident to get the remains from the tanker, adding the leakage was contained with no indication it reached Carroll Creek.

Officials also said there's no evidence fluid got into the drinking water system as well.

MDE says a storm drain was flushed and there will be a soil cleanup at the site, but it's unclear when that may happen.