Driver in tanker crash is identified

May 19, 2007

The driver of a tanker-truck that crashed on a South Baltimore interstate ramp on Sunday, spilling thousands of gallons of ethanol and sparking a fire that burned for hours, has been identified as a 45-year-old resident of Richmond, Va., authorities said yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the Maryland Transportation Authority said dental records were used to identify Michael John Robinson Sr., who was trapped in the wreckage until firefighters could extinguish the blaze on the elevated ramp over South Hanover Street.

Cpl. Jonathan Green, a transportation authority police spokesman, said the investigation into the accident, which shut for days a portion of Hanover Street and the ramp leading to Interstate 95, is continuing and could take weeks or months.

The fire from the tanker and 6,800 gallons of spilled fuel damaged the ramp and fell onto six cars and a truck parked below on Hanover Street. Work crews had to mill and replace a portion of the ramp's road surface, and replace part of a safety wall. Engineers deemed the elevated portion structurally sound..

Robinson worked for New Jersey-based Dana Transport System, which has a local base of operations in Curtis Bay and specializes in hauling hazardous materials.

According to Virginia traffic records, he had been convicted of several traffic infractions, including improperly controlling his vehicle in 2005, failure to obey a highway sign in 2004 and traveling 69 mph in a 55-mph zone in 2000.

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