Video of Fatal Fuel Truck Crash Goes Viral, Fellow Trucker Helps Raise Over $14K For Familyby Jana Ritter - Published: 12/28/2016
On December 17th, Baltimore fuel truck driver, Clinton Worrell, tragically lost his life in a fiery crash that a bystander happened to capture on his cellphone. The video went viral and captured the attention of millions, including a fellow fuel hauler who never knew Worrell but felt compelled to do something nonetheless. He thought about how difficult the holiday season would be for the trucker's family and he started a GoFundMe page on their behalf. The fundraising campaign has also since gone viral, inspiring hundreds of fellow truckers and complete strangers to make generous donations amounting to over $14,000 thus far.
“I watched it once, and I just couldn’t watch it again,” says Mike Lavelle, the truck driver who started the on-line campaign. He is referring to the cellphone video that captured Worrell's fuel truck slide into a jersey wall and then burst into flames. “It’s one of those things where you know the outcome, and you just don’t want to see it again.” The outcome was the tragic end of the 31-year-old driver and father's life and the beginning of a 68-car pile up that killed two other people and injured dozens of others. The incident, now said to be the worst in recent Baltimore history, occurred during the early morning hours on Saturday, December 17 on 1-95 in southwest Baltimore. So far, the icy road conditions are the most obvious factor to blame.
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While authorities are still investigating the tanker crash as a separate incident, MDTA police have since confirmed that Clinton Worrell had a clean record and all the required job certification to drive the tanker truck. They also confirmed that he had valid medical certification and was considered to be an outstanding employee after two and a half years of driving for Carroll Fuel. All that is known for sure is that his truck slid on ice, slammed into the wall and exploded into flames before falling off the bridge and onto the train tracks below.
Although Mike Lavelle had never met Worrell, he spent four years of his 20-year truck driving career hauling fuel and knows the dangers of the job all too well. “It’s a fellow fuel hauler, and it’s a brother and a sisterhood, and we all kind of look out for each other,” he explained. Lavelle also said that in tragedies like these, family needs to help family and that is exactly what prompted him to start the fundraising campaign for Worrell's family. “Not that you could ever bring Clinton back, but I hope that it’s one less thing that they have to worry about. Just something that they can fall back on, and they can see the support from people around the country,” he said.
Worrell’s employer, Carroll Fuel, validated the GoFundMe page and since then, co-workers, fellow truckers and strangers from across the nation have generously donated tens of thousands of dollars to help the surviving family, including his seven-year-old daughter. Lavelle also managed to get in contact with the family through a member of a fuel hauler group that Worrell belonged to on Facebook and he has given them direct access to the funds raised.
“All of the money is going directly to the family. With the hope of it lighting the burden in their time of need. His sister Shannika has access to the money. I have no access to it at all. It’s all for the family.Thank you for all of your generosity.”
To donate to the page CLICK HERE.