Crews clear fuel spill in Lincoln County following fatal tanker crash

An already chaotic scene in Lincoln County highway intensified Tuesday night when a tanker truck burst into flames on Highway 16 in Denver.

“They think it was an arc from the tractor-trailer that sparked it,” Lincoln County spokesperson Ronnie Rombs. 

According to a Highway Patrol, a driver on St. James Church Road pulled out in front of the tanker. That driver swerved to avoid the crash, but ended up overturning a number of times before resting here. The truck driver died at the scene.


A car pulled out in front of an oil tanker on NC-16 in Lincoln County Tuesday afternoon, causing the truck to overturn. 

Medics took the other driver to a Charlotte hospital. Officials say she will eventually face charges for causing the crash.

“It looks like we're going to be here for a long while,” Rombs said. 

The tank had 8,500 gallons of fuel when it left Charlotte. Crews are still trying to determine how much of it leaked.

NC-16 remained closed in both directions for miles backing up traffic on area roads during rush hour. Officials estimated that it wouldn't be back open until the overnight hours. 

A spill response team was on hand to help contain the leaking fuel along with several fire departments and ambulances.