In a devastating incident that shook the city of Philadelphia, a portion of Interstate 95 collapsed after a tanker truck carrying gasoline crashed and caught fire underneath an overpass. As rescue efforts and investigations continue, authorities have discovered human remains at the wreckage site, although they have not yet been officially identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Initially, officials had reported no injuries or fatalities from the incident. However, family members of the truck driver have since identified him as 53-year-old Nathaniel Moody. Isaac Moody, Nathaniel’s relative, expressed the family’s grief and emphasized Nathaniel’s dedication as a father. “He wanted to raise his girl to know what a good Dad was, to know what a hardworking Dad was,” Isaac Moody shared with Fox Philadelphia. “He didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, he damn-sure didn’t use any drugs.”
Nathaniel Moody was an experienced truck driver, with over a decade of service transporting fuel for a company based in Pennsauken, New Jersey. As authorities work to piece together the sequence of events leading to the collapse, questions arise regarding the cause of the accident. Isaac Moody wonders, “Did he get cut off? Was there something down there that he had to swerve from? The one thing I can say is that he wasn’t a careless driver.”
Investigations are being conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which dispatched a team of specialists to the scene. The NTSB team is collecting data about the truck and reaching out to the motor carrier regarding fleet operations. Additionally, they are working closely with emergency response teams to gather information on the chain of events. A preliminary report is expected to be released within two to three weeks.
During a news conference, authorities revealed that the overturned tanker truck had been carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline at the time of the crash. The subsequent leakage and fire led to the collapse of the highway section. By 7:30 a.m., emergency responders managed to extinguish the flames.
Inspectors assessing the damage have deemed the beams supporting the overpass unsuitable for travel due to the intense fire. Efforts are underway to demolish and repair the affected portion of the highway, with the State Department of Transportation coordinating with relevant agencies to expedite the process.
Recognizing the severity of the situation, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro issued a disaster declaration, allowing the state to access federal funds for the necessary repair and reconstruction work on the damaged highway.
“Based on the tremendous progress these crews made over the weekend and the time it takes to complete the remaining steps, I can now say that we will have I-95 back open this weekend,” Shapiro said. “We have worked around the clock to get this done, and we’ve completed each phase safely and ahead of schedule.”
To get the road open by the weekend, crews were working throughout the week to pave three new lanes in each direction.