TruckingIndustry.news

Tanker Driver Dies in Fiery Crash, Teen Arrested For Fleeing Scene

by Jana Ritter - Published: 3/30/2016

Robert Drewelus was simply doing his job driving a tanker truck with 8,500 gallons of gasoline along the I-75 near Sarasota, Florida early Tuesday morning. Then suddenly he hit a Volvo in front of him and his truck veered off the road and into the median before bursting into flames. The 53-year-old truck driver was ejected and killed, and the two teenagers in the Volvo fled the scene.

                                                           truck driver Robert Drewelus dead

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It is still uncertain as to the exact cause of the crash, but it occurred in a construction zone and while one theory is that one or both drivers may have failed to slow down when the marked signs indicated, the truck driver's wife says she was told by an FHP officer that the Volvo had cut her husband off. Regardless of who was at fault, Drewelus is dead and 16-year Nicholas Hermes Cain has been charged with leaving the scene with death, (which is a second degree felony and a violation of a learner license restriction.) Florida Highway Patrol officers had located the teenager’s abandoned car on Cattlemen Road and later found him at a residence in Lakewood Ranch - where he was arrested. His 15-year-old brother was the other passenger in the vehicle and both teens did not suffer any injuries in the crash. “If you’re involved in a traffic crash, you must remain on scene, it’s that simple. The problem is as soon as you leave the scene, you’ve made a bad decision worse. At that point you’ve committed a crime,” says Lt. Greg Bueno of the FHP.

                                                           tanker truck crash on I-75

Elsie Nieves-Drewelus says she has been in shock since she got the phone call just after 3 a.m. The FHP told her a trooper was on the way to their family home in St. Petersburg. They didn’t tell her why but as soon as she she turned on the television, she knew. “I saw on TV there was an accident with a tractor trailer and I knew it, my heart told me, my heart told me,” Nieves-Drewelus explains. She says that when the FHP officer arrived, he told her that her husband had been cut off by the other vehicle and had veered off the road to avoid crashing into the back of the car. “He said ‘your husband saved two lives today.’"

                                                           crash occurred in I-75 construction zone

Nieves-Drewelus is certain that is what happened and says that her husband was an excellent driver who had been doing his job for 31 years. She had just spent a wonderful Easter with him and they had been planning a cruise for their one-year wedding anniversary on May 4. “My husband was full of life. He didn't have a bad bone in him, my gentle giant. I love my husband very much, and I won't be able to say goodbye to him in the condition of his body,” Nieves-Drewelus says. “I won't be able to touch him and give him his last kiss cause his body can't be viewed in the condition it is in.”


Ben Moseley
Ben Moseley
Terrible ad placement
Lisa Segers
Lisa Segers
Years ago editors proofread and supervisors approved ad placement. Mine did. Rest in peace driver.
Trucking Unlimited
Trucking Unlimited
Thanks for pointing it out, we are correcting the issue.
Gregg Carlton Jones
Gregg Carlton Jones
What ever it takes to blame the truck drivers always if the kid did nothing wrong why did he flee the scene thats why I cary three video cameras on my truck one dash cam and two on the rear of cab one for each side of truck record day and night but I know when truck burns up going to be useless but I still have them to cover my ass
Jacky Worsham
Jacky Worsham
What brand of cameras do you have and how clear are they im looking to get some
Vincent Heckadon
Vincent Heckadon
I got an idea they always want to make laws. If you're past the merge point in a construction zone and there is an accident in your lane closes you're automatically at fault. If a fatality occurs how about 15 years for voluntary manslaughter! If you leave the scene of a fatality 25 years how about that. Enough of this ridiculous crap of racing up to the cones and cutting people off. FMCSA wants safety how about something with some damn teeth !!!!!!
Eric Rick Zieba
Eric Rick Zieba
Its Not about safety anymore,ask any trooper anywhere. Its all about the money! Sad but true.I have 31+ years, I know what you mean.
Stephen Pina
Stephen Pina
I been driving 35 years I am so sad for you and your loss we deal with this every day may he rest in peace and may God comfort you 😞
Cory Whittaker
Cory Whittaker
Not that it would have really mattered but did he have a seat belt on ? I have had to make the decision that he made before. I had about 3 seconds to choose me or the cars. I chose myself. I feel for this woman who lost her husband. Your duty as a truck driver is to protect others around you. I just couldn't live with myself to choose running over a car or yanking the wheel and hoping for the best. I had my seat belt on and it saved my life. 7 broken ribs broken wrist crushed feet 300 stitches and staples 5 pints of blood 9 months of psychical therapy and I'm still alive.
Brad Barbee
Brad Barbee
Of coarse its the truck's fault, it's always the truck's fault. Some day everyone will take responsibility for their actions. RIP
Chris Gvozd
Chris Gvozd
If they are dumb enough to pull in front of me, they are going for a ride. I don't slam my brakes or steer to avoid a accident they caused. Control braking will keep you alive.
Randy Rekow
Randy Rekow
31 yrs & a couple teens put an end to his safe driving career.
Tami Alaritop
Tami Alaritop
I wouldn't have swerved. I have no intention to commit suicide because your stupid
Software Scripts
Software Scripts
Nice
Matthew Fields
Matthew Fields
Charge that teen with vehicular manslaughter
Jacky Worsham
Jacky Worsham
Rest in peace driver
Software Scripts
Software Scripts
Yeah:D
William Vinet
William Vinet
Sad that's why i try to never leave the house mad or without saying I love you
Kenny Harman
Kenny Harman
Rip so sad lord be with the family s and help the through this tragic event
Stephanie Duncan Okuley
Stephanie Duncan Okuley
This is everything you need to know.
Terry Williams Sr.
Terry Williams Sr.
Prayers for Him and His Family!
JR Golliday
JR Golliday
Rip brother. Prayers for your family.
Johnny Davis
Johnny Davis
May God bless, and be with his family.
Kenneth Antone
Kenneth Antone

Michael Mathews
Michael Mathews
If the teen ran I'm agreeing with tami
Tami Alaritop
Tami Alaritop
Why else would he have ran if he didn't have something to do with it
Michael Mathews
Michael Mathews
Exactly
Tami Alaritop
Tami Alaritop
I wouldn't have swerved
Michael Mathews
Michael Mathews
Nope
Software Scripts
Software Scripts
absolutely correct couldnt agree more :)
Greg Pricer
Greg Pricer
Rest in peace, brother.
Rusty Turley
Rusty Turley

Tami Alaritop
Tami Alaritop
Betting the teen cut him off
Mary Taylor
Mary Taylor
Prayers for all involved
Greg DaCoon Graffeo
Greg DaCoon Graffeo

Marco Narvaez
Marco Narvaez
Truly sad R.I.P DRIVER
David Fletcher
David Fletcher
Terrible.
Erick Painter
Erick Painter
This is a shame.
John H Burgess
John H Burgess
Sad. Rip driver!
Debbie Keller
Debbie Keller
How sad RIP driver :'(
Michael Ponton
Michael Ponton
R.I.P driver
Randy Lingo
Randy Lingo
R I P DRIVER
Randy Lingo
Randy Lingo
R I P. DRIVER
Nick Mazzacco Sr.
Nick Mazzacco Sr.
RIP driver. We got your back
Jim Rigney
Jim Rigney
Sad. R.I.P
John Pearce
John Pearce
Hell Yeah !! :)
Evaline Braswell
Evaline Braswell
RIP driver
Sally Wuestenberg
Sally Wuestenberg
How sad.
Sheila Stevens Wolf
Sheila Stevens Wolf
RIP
Denny Hockensmith
Denny Hockensmith
RIP
Ronnie Meyers
Ronnie Meyers
Ww
Brandon Mcfarland
Brandon Mcfarland
Christopher Barnes Kevin Thornton Will Steed
Kevin Thornton
Kevin Thornton
Damn, 4 wheelers
Software Scripts
Software Scripts
Who else loves ?