A Dublin Division of Police accident-reconstruction report released May 11 concluded that fault is "undetermined" in the fatal, fiery tanker-truck crash Jan. 23 at a ramp connecting U.S. Route 33 and Interstate 270.
The driver, Duane Brodman, 58, of Wapakoneta, died of burns at the scene of the 10:30 a.m. crash after the gasoline tanker rolled over to its right against a concrete guardrail, rupturing the tank and sparking an inferno that destroyed the vehicle and damaged the exit ramp from Route 33 eastbound to I-270 North.
"There was not enough evidence that he was speeding or anything else," Lindsay Weisenauer, spokeswoman for the city of Dublin, said of the report's conclusion. "At this point, it's a mystery as to why he crashed."
Brodman, a driver for Lykins Energy Solutions, did not suffer from any known medical issues other than sleep apnea, for which he was using a CPAP device, according to the report by Detective Erik Gilleland, a traffic crash reconstructionist.
A toxicology report found Brodman did not have drugs or alcohol in his system and the investigation determined he had not been using his cellphone when the crash occurred.
The tanker was loaded with about 8,000 gallons of gasoline, some 1,500 gallons under capacity, when Brodman drove onto the ramp in a light rain.
Another truck driver, William Hunter, was driving a semi-trailer about 200 to 300 feet behind Brodman's truck.
He told police Brodman's truck headed to the right and strike the concrete guardrail with the tanker.
Brodman tried to over-correct and come back into the designated ramp roadway when the vehicle rolled over onto its right side and the fire began from around the middle of the trailer, Hunter told investigators.
At some point, Brodman turned on the four-way flashers, as Hunter recalled they were on after the rollover and the tanker was on fire.
"The steering input to bring the truck back onto the roadway in a left curve would have caused a fluid load shift or 'slosh' toward the outside of the roadway and in this case I believe that was the action that caused the tanker to roll," Gilleland said in the report.
The posted speed limit on the ramp is 55 mph, but there is an advisory sign cautioning motorists to slow down to 40 mph, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. The report does not say how fast Brodman might have been going.