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Lebanon truck driver dead following fiery crash in Lyons

A Lebanon man was killed when the tanker truck he was driving crashed Tuesday morning, May 23, in Lyons.According to Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan said in a statement that the county Dispatch Center received a report around 10:39 a.m. that a tanker truck had crashed at the 4600 block of Lyons Mill City Drive near Lyons.

Initial details suggested the fuel truck was fully engulfed.

Deputies who responded learned explosions were being reported as the vehicle continued to be consumed by flames, spreading to a nearby abandoned residence. The fire also caused downed power lines, Duncan said.

Upon arrival, deputies found the vehicle still engulfed in flames and the only occupant, later identified as Steven Froemke, 63, of Lebanon, deceased in the vehicle. Multiple fire departments arrived on scene and worked to protect surrounding areas from the flames and fuel. The fire continued to consume spilled fuel from the tanker where it also spread to trees and vegetation. An additional abandoned residence also caught fire, damaging the garage, the Sheriff said.

Investigators determined that Froemke was traveling east on Lyons Mill City when he did not negotiate a corner, and drove off the road, causing the 2000 Kenworth Carson Oil tanker truck to crash into a tree, and catch fire. Several hundred gallons of fuel, including regular grade, supreme, and diesel fuel were spilled, continuing to burn for hours. The fire departments and hazmat crews worked to prevent the fire from spreading, and ensure the fuel was contained within the area, Duncan said.

She said there is no indication the water supply in the area is contaminated. Numerous agencies will remain on scene as the investigation continues. It is unknown at this time what caused Froemke to leave the roadway, but there is no indication of impairment.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office is grateful for the assistance from the Lyons Fire Department, Mill City Fire Department, Gates Fire Department, Stayton Fire Department, Sublimity Fire Department, Scio Fire Department, Idahna-Detroit Fire Department, Oregon State Fire Marshals Hazmat, Chemeketa Fire Program, Linn County Medical Examiner’s Office, Linn County Road Department, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and Pacific Power.