Indianapolis, IN Gas Tanker Explosion, Dec 1966



Indianapolis (UPI) -- The death toll in the fiery gasoline tanker explosion rose to five to day as a three pronged investigation into Monday's disaster opened.
Trucker ORVAL HULIEY, 51, Indianapolis, burned over 98 per cent of his body, died in Marion County General Hospital late Monday night, about 16 hours after the inferno on busy 38th St., on the city's northeast side.
The tragedy also wiped out a local family of three. WALLACE SCHEFFEE, 30; his wife, ELIZABETH ANN, 27, and their 4-year-old daughter, WENDY -- and also killed DENNIS CARTER, 27, of nearby Oaklandon.
SHARON ROACH, 21, a teacher, remained in serious condition with burns and other injuries while ROY G. BURRIS, 40, a bricklayer who pulled MISS ROACH to safety, thus saving her life, escaped with minor burns.
Meanwhile, state and city officials and members of the Interstate Commerce Commission were investigating cause of the accident. Officials said they will attempt to determine whether laws governing gasoline tankers should be revised to assure greater safety in event of such accidents.
Auto racing officials suggested that the insertion of rubber bladders inside the tankers might be considered as one major safety step. Such bladders are now mandatory in race car events of the United States Auto Club, including the 500 mile Speedway auto race.
Monday's flaming crash occurred during the traffic rush-hour, when HALLEY'S big rig hauling 8,100 gallons of gasoline, jack-knifed after apparently clipping the rear of MISS ROACH'S compact car as she was turning into the driveway of St. Andrews Catholic School where she taught.
As the rig tipped over on its side and exploded into a ball of fire as its tank ruptured, a chain reaction collision occurred behind it with several other cars engulfed in flames.
The SCHEFFEES were trapped in their station wagon. They and CARTER were burned beyond recognition while HALLEY leaped from his cab on fire and collapsed on the grounds of the church-school complex.

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