Officer honored after tanker truck explosion

This image shows the explosion that happened after a car going the wrong way on I-75 hit an oncoming tanker truck.

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The police officer who was the first to respond to that deadly wrong-way crash on I-75 that ended in a massive explosion, is being honored.

A man drove his car the wrong way in the southbound lanes of I-75 on April 30, slamming into an oncoming semi truck that was hauling gasoline.

Sgt Theodore Trupp was first at the scene.

“I was actually on my way to work,” Trupp said. “I was coming around 75 southbound, I saw a big billow of smoke in the sky, that’s when I noticed a car had crashed into a tanker.”

Eye witnesses described the incident as terrifying. They say a car was speeding in the wrong lane, passing several cars before merging into the far left lane.
Just movements later, the car hit the truck, head-on.

Trupp was able to get other citizens that were in that area, out of harms way, seconds before the tanker truck exploded.

“Pretty chaotic,” Trupp said. “I positioned my car to block traffic from anyone else coming up in the area, I ran up, got my fire extinguisher and did the best I could.”

Trupp was honored at the Miami Valley Crime Stoppers annual awards banquet as officer of the year. Event organizers say Trupp calmly contacted dispatch and worked to secure the area before the massive explosion.

The award ceremony was emceed by WDTN’s very own Mark Allan.

“Trupp’s quick thinking, calm demeanor, and sound decision making skills undoubtedly saved multiple lives, while risking his own life,” Allan said.

The freeway was closed for hours and lanes were restricted for days while the Ohio Department of Transportation repaired the damage to the pavement and the barrier wall.

“That’s what I strive to do every day,” Trupp said. “That’s why I took this job 15 years ago. I wanted to make a difference, help people, and save lives at the same time.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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