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On Thursday, an accident occurred in the Village of Howard, Wisconsin, outside of Green Bay, involving a natural gas truck in which the driver was killed and the passenger hospitalized. News and police reports indicate that the accident appeared to be the result of a heavy shifting load compromising the truck’s fuel system. The load in this case was a forklift truck that slid forward as the vehicle slowed to turn, penetrating the back-of-cab- mounted CNG fuel system. There was no detonation or a thermal event in this tragic accident.

Below is a summary of information currently available to NGVAmerica:
• The Freightliner box-style truck was transporting a large forklift truck from one facility to another about 300 yards away.
• When the driver braked to pull into the driveway, the forklift rolled toward the front of the vehicle, forks forward, penetrating through the trailer wall and into the cylinder cabinet (which had been manufactured by Agility Fuel Systems).
• A view from the front shows a Type IV Hexagon Lincoln neck-mount cylinder.
• A picture of the truck taken from the driver’s side-view appears to show that the fork carriage pushed the whole cylinder cabinet and truck cab forward.
• Two lower cylinders are missing from the cylinder cabinet. The bottom cylinder was impacted by a fork near the top of the sidewall and ruptured into two pieces
• The other cylinder was blown clear but did not rupture.
• The valve was broken off of the middle cylinder when it was forced out of the neck mount.
• The two top cylinders are still in their mounts.
• The escaping gas pushed the cab floor almost to the windshield. The driver was killed and the passenger was ejected through the windshield.
• The drive shaft was bent into a U and the engine blown off its mounts.
• Natural gas was still escaping from broken lines when the first responders arrived.
• One end of a cylinder is on the ground some distance from driver’s side of the truck. It looks like a clean circumferential break indicating that the helical plies failed but not the hoop plies. White glass fibers are apparent at the break.

The industry, NGVAmerica and CVEF will continue to work with authorities to investigate the incident. We will keep our members informed as new information becomes available.