The driver of the overland gasoline tank-truck, that ignited while delivering fuel to the 5th Wheel BP Station, has been identified to Historic City News as the victim that was transported by air ambulance to Shands Teaching Hospital in Gainesville last night.
David Hunt Cowles lives in the 200 block of Big Buck Road in the unincorporated area of Fort McCoy in Marion County, Florida; however, tonight, he is receiving intensive medical attention in the critical burn unit.
Cowles turned 60 years-old on July 16th. His relatives have been notified.
The fire raged for at least two hours before firefighters were able to get it under control, according to Lt. Jeremy Robshaw with St. Johns County Fire Rescue.
Robshaw said that investigators from the state fire marshal’s office and Department of Environmental Protection will need some time to analyze evidence collected at the intersection of SR-16 and Masters Drive Friday night.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s spokesman Chuck Mulligan told Historic City News that his office has no further information about Cowles condition at this time.
Witnesses said Friday they were not sure how someone could survive such a large explosion and fire.
Mulligan thanked residents in the Ravenswood neighborhood for their prompt response to the self-evacuation request from public safety personnel on the scene. The fire was contained and did not spread to homes along Masters Drive, although it easily could have. The early evacuation would have assisted emergency responders and vehicles significantly.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News contributed photograph by Samantha Cosme