Driver Identified in Fatal Tanker Crash

SMITHS STATION, Ala. (WTVM) - Officials have now released the name of the truck driver who died in an accident Wednesday afternoon on Highway 280.

He has been identified as 47 year-old Charles Michael Stoker, of Opelika.  Stoker was driving a truck carrying 8,000 of gallons of gasoline. His tanker flipped around 12:20 central time when he tried to avoid a white car that came into his path of travel from Lee Road 379.

The truck flipped several times before coming to a rest on its side with gallons of gasoline spilling. Stoker was airlifted to Columbus Regional where he later died.

Area landmarks such as the Lee County Flea Market and surrounding buildings were evacuated. Crews feared sparks would create a fire. Fortunately, no blaze occurred.

Crews worked for hours cleaning up the spill in time for morning traffic. To ensure safety during the clean-up, drivers were encouraged to take alternate routes.

Meanwhile, Alabama State Troopers have found the vehicle involved in the crash, and the investigating is ongoing.

State Trooper, Sergeant Susan Capps says if the driver is found, that person could face charges.