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I-95 collapse in Philadelphia: What we know about the tanker truck driver, Nathan Moody

I-95 collapse in Philadelphia: Family identifies driver killed
I-95 collapse in Philadelphia: Family identifies driver killed 00:33

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --  Steel and concrete rubble are most of what remains after a tanker truck caught fire Sunday underneath an Interstate 95 overpass, compromising the structure and causing the northbound lanes of the interstate to collapse. The tanker truck was said to be holding thousands of gallons of gasoline. 


It is believed that only one vehicle, a gas tanker truck, was caught under the hundreds of tons of rubble that came down after the truck crashed and exploded beneath I-95, sources say, adding that the tanker truck's GPS stopped moving at the time of the explosion.

Police asked news crews to not livestream helicopters overhead while investigators sifted through the wreckage in search of human remains, which were recovered Monday afternoon. 

The driver was identified as 53-year-old Nathan Moody of Merchantville. He was a father of three. 

The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office ruled Moody's death an accident and said he died due to blunt trauma of the head, inhalation and thermal injuries.

Isaac Moody

Moody's cousin, Isaac Moody, said "Nate," as he was known, first started driving trucks in the military and had earned top certifications in his field. He also said Moody had been doing the same fuel delivery route every Sunday morning for several years.

The family was asked to submit dental records to positively identify the remains as investigators continue working to find the cause of the fire. 

RELATED: I-95 Philadelphia: Large truck fire causes roadway collapse near Cottman Avenue exit

Chopper 3 was over the scene Monday, where you could see the charred remains of the I-95 overpass that collapsed.

Authorities said it happened after a tanker truck caught fire under it around 6:45 a.m., but there are still so many questions. 

Conditions within the wreckage and rubble indicate an intense gasoline-fueled fire incinerated much of the truck, making the recovery extremely difficult, sources said. 

What caused the collapse of I-95 in Philadelphia?

So, what went so horribly wrong in the moments before a tanker truck lost control, crashed and burst into flames?

Sources told CBS News Philadelphia that the tanker, which was carrying gasoline en route to a Northeast Philadelphia gas station, failed to properly navigate an I-95 off-ramp at Cottman Avenue and State Road.

The truck then appears to have crashed into a wall, exploded and led to a catastrophic failure of key support systems for the elevated interstate that clocks 160,000 vehicles daily, causing the roadway to crash to the ground below, sources said.

"From what we understand, the tractor-trailer was trying to navigate the curve, lost control of the vehicle, landed on its side and ruptured the tank and ignited the fire," PennDOT secretary Mike Carroll said. 

Early on, investigators said they had some indicators that something was wrong, according to sources.

A GPS tracking system in the truck went off-line, disappearing from tracking screens at roughly the moment of the explosion. 

A short time later, a trucking company also called state police to inquire about the whereabouts of the driver and truck. 

A gas station, which has not publicly been identified yet, also called state police to say their gas delivery never made it, sources said.  

Officials give update on I-95 collapse in Philadelphia 15:57

CBS News Philadelphia sources provided a name of an area trucking company, which we are not identifying as police have not confirmed they were involved. A woman who answered the phone declined to comment, saying not enough details were known. 

On the ground, news crews are only allowed to get so close to the scene.

ALSO SEE: Why did I-95 collapse in Philadelphia? Drexel University engineer explains possibilities

More than 30 hours after the fire and roadway collapse, officials still have not released the name of the company that owns the tanker truck.

PennDOT secretary and the federal highway administrator both arrived at the scene Monday, amid the recovery operation. The National Transportation Safety Board is also expected to arrive at the scene at some point Monday, as well. 

RELATED: Best detours to avoid Philadelphia I-95 bridge collapse road closure

A preliminary report is expected to be released in roughly two to three weeks by the NTSB on the investigation of the fire and collapse of I-95. 

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was in Philly Tuesday to visit the crash site.

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