A 62-year-old St. Louis man was identified as the victim in Thursday night’s fatal tanker crash on Interstate 64 near Scott Air Force Base.
St. Clair County Deputy Coroner Dean Darnall said Friday afternoon that Kevin Ryan died in the crash.
Ryan was driving a semi tractor-tanker trailer designed to carry liquid nitrogen westbound on I-64 east of the Illinois 158 interchange when motorists called police to report the truck was weaving in and out of traffic and had struck several construction barrels. The truck left the roadway to the right and overturned at 7:32 p.m., an Illinois State Police statement said.
Darnall said an autopsy is scheduled and toxicology exams are pending, but preliminary findings indicate the possibility that a health issue combined with Ryan’s injuries to cause his death. Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:43 p.m.
The truck Ryan was driving is owned by Air Products and Chemicals, an Allentown, Pa.-based firm with an office in St. Louis.
The crash caused a massive traffic backup as dozens of emergency vehicles descended on the scene. A St. Clair County Special Emergency Services hazardous materials unit was dispatched to monitor the scene because crews worried the tank would leak. No leak was reported.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash and no one else was injured, the state police statement said.