Authorities have identified the driver of a dairy truck who was killed in Wednesday’s collision on Interstate 10 in Chandler after he crashed into the back of a fuel tanker.
Rodney Payne, 55, of Mesa, was driving a milk truck for Missouri-based Western Dairy Transportation on Interstate 10 westbound near Chandler Boulevard. Shortly after 8 a.m. the truck he was driving crashed into the back of a tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of fuel byproduct, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The incident caused an explosion and stalled traffic for hours and businesses were evacuated within 1 mile of the crash scene.
Payne was returning to Phoenix from Casa Grande at the time of the crash, according to DPS.
Payne was an independent trucker with whom Western Dairy contracted to transport loads of milk. His truck was empty when the crash happened, according to a woman in Western Dairy’s Safety Department. Payne was an owner-operator of the truck, according to the Western Dairy worker.
The driver of the tanker for Bulk Transportation of Gallup, N.M., was Valentino Haley, 29, of New Mexico. He was not injured in the crash, according to DPS.
DPS officers are continuing to investigate the crash to determine why Payne crashed into the back of the tanker.