MSP Identify man killed in massive tanker fire last weekend as Smithsburg man

10 March 2023- Maryland State Police have identified the man who died following a tanker truck crash Saturday in Frederick County.

The victim is Ronald Leroy Heiston Jr., 58, of Smithsburg, Maryland. Shortly before noon on Saturday, troopers from the Maryland State Police Frederick Barrack responded to Route 15 North, approximately a half mile north of Rosemont Avenue in Frederick, Maryland, for a report of a single-vehicle crash with a fire.

According to a preliminary investigation, Heiston was driving a tanker truck with approximately 8,650 gallons of gasoline from Manassas, Virginia to Taneytown, Maryland. For unknown reasons, Heiston’s vehicle left the right side of the road, struck a tree and caught fire. Heiston was declared deceased at the scene. He was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, where positive identification was made.

Investigators said six homes and five vehicles sustained damage from the fire that originated from the tanker truck crash. No other injuries or fatalities were reported as a result of the crash or the subsequent fires. Route 15 was temporarily closed in both directions following the crash.

The Maryland State Police Crash Team will lead the crash investigation with assistance from troopers from the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and the Traffic Incident Management Section. The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Maryland Department of the Environment were notified and responded to the scene as well. Personnel from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration also responded and established detours around the area.