A truck driver who lost his life in a hazmat explosion in Arkansas last week died trying to save as many people as possible, according to those at the scene.
Last week, the trucking community was shocked by the news of a fatal truck explosion that happened near Camden, Arkansas. Now, more than a week later, new details about the incident show the heroism of 63 year old truck driver Randall McDougal, who died trying to save other people from the massive explosion.
Around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27, McDougal was hauling a load of ammonium nitrate from El Dorado to Texarkana when he noticed that his brakes had caught fire. Realizing how dangerous the situation was, McDougal called 911 and then parked at a remote location on Highway 278.
After parking, KATV reports that multiple witnesses said that rather than fleeing the scene, McDougal worked to get others away from the truck and was attempting to put out the brake fire when the explosion happened.
The explosion killed McDougal and injured three firefighters, leaving a 15 foot crater in the highway.
McDougal’s son Jason McDougal says that while he is devastated by his father’s death, he is proud that his dad died trying to save others. “Most legends when they leave this earth leave their mark for eternity for everyone to see, and that’s what my father did,” he said.
Jason McDougal also said that there was very little of his father’s truck left after the explosion, but he did find a piece of the truck with the truck number fully intact. “This corner has his truck number. I found it the day of and it will be very dear to me,” he said.
People across the country have taken to Facebook to give thanks and honor McDougal for his sacrifice.