The trucking community has expressed outrage over a controversial social media post from a teen involved in a crash that claimed the life of a tanker truck driver last week.
Fatal Crash Claims Life Of Tanker Truck Driver
The crash happened in the southbound lanes of I-75 in Sarasota, Florida, on March 29 around 3 a.m. Robert Drewelus, 53, was hauling 8,500 gallons of gasoline when he struck a Volvo driven by 16-year-old Nicholas Hermes Cain from behind. The tanker veered off the shoulder of the road, overturned, and caught fire.
Drewelus was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cain and his 15 year old brother fled the scene of the crash, but were soon captured by police at an apartment complex. Cain was charged with leaving the scene with death and violation of learner license restriction because drivers under 18 years of age are subject to curfew in Florida.
Trucker May Have Died Saving Teen Drivers
While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, Drewelus’s widow, Elsie Nieves-Drewelus, says that the Florida Highway Patrol told her that they believe that her husband was cut off and that he had veered off the road in an attempt to avoid hitting the Volvo. According to Nieves-Drewelus, one trooper even believes that the teens are alive because of the trucker’s evasive action: “He said ‘your husband saved two lives today.’”
Social Medial Post Stirs Controversy
Following the crash, a photo featuring the passenger of the Volvo standing in front of the crashed vehicle smiling and holding up four fingers on both hands appeared on social media. The caption on the image read “RIP Volvo” with a smiley face and a truck emoji.
Nieves-Drewelus says she is “disgusted” by the post that has gone viral in some circles — and by the fact that the teens didn’t stop to help her husband. She wonders whether a 911 call from the teens could have saved Drewelus’s life.
The teen’s Instagram account has now been deactivated. He claims that it was hacked.