Randall McDougal was a commercial truck driver. He spent most of his life driving trucks, and he really loved his job. Sure, he didn’t like being away from his family for a few days at a time, but there was something about the open road that always seemed to be calling him. Over the years, he hauled all types of materials. Some were everyday items, and others were hazardous materials. He was highly skilled and highly trained. He never expected to find himself in a life and death situation. On his last day on Earth, he was on a highway in Arkansas transporting chemicals that are used in fertilizer called ammonium nitrate. The El Dorado man was driving along U.S. Highway 278 just west of Camden, east of Nevada. His brakes caught fire, and he immediately called 911.
Out Of Harm’s Way
Randall knew that he was carrying highly flammable materials in his truck and it was likely that the truck would explode. His first thought was the people in the area. When he noticed the fire, he didn’t stop. He wanted to get his truck to a more remote area where there were no houses or buildings.
When the 911 operator got Randall’s call, she immediately sent out first responders. They rushed to the scene and began evacuating the people in the nearby homes. This wasn’t enough for Randall. He wanted to do more to protect the public, so he tried to put the fire out himself. Sadly, the truck exploded. It blew a 15-feet crater into the ground, and he was killed on site. This hero truck driver takes burning truck to a remote area before it explodes, killing him.
“A Bomb Went Off”
A one-mile perimeter was set in the areas near Highway 278 and Highway 57. Everyone in the area was evacuated before the explosion. According to the Camden Fire Chief Robert Medford, it looked like a bomb had gone off. There was a huge hole in the ground where the truck was. He says that things could have been a lot worse if Randall had pulled over right when he noticed the fire.
Randall McDougal was a hero. He sacrificed his own life to save the lives of the hundreds of residents who lived in the area of the explosion. If he hadn’t done what he did, many people could have died. He must have known that his life was on the line when he tried to put out the fire. Randall died a hero.
When Randall’s son, Jason McDougal heard about his father’s accident, he was horrified and heartbroken. Jason says that Randall was is world and his hero. He idolized his father and wanted to be just like him for as long as he could remember. He couldn’t believe that he would no longer be in his life. Jason says that as soon as he heard the loud boom that morning, he felt uneasy. He called to check on his father. He called his father’s phone, and it went straight to voice mail.
Calling the Dispatcher
When Randall didn’t pick up his phone, Jason called his trucking company’s dispatch office to make sure that his father was alright. Dispatch used GPS to locate Randall, and they told him that the brakes on his father’s truck had caught fire. They told him that the truck caught fire just outside Camden on Highway 278. Jason’s worst nightmare was coming true. He lived just a few miles from the area where his father’s truck caught fire, and he was sure that the explosion that he heard was his father. Jason jumped in his car to the explosion site. It took him less than 10 minutes to get there, and there was nothing left.
Jason saw that there pieces of his father’s truck all over the ground and in the trees. The one part of his father’s truck that he found that was intact was the corner of his father’s truck that contained the number.
Randall’s tragic death was the only one that occurred that day. Two firefighters were injured during the explosion but were expected to recover. This was what Randall gave his life for. He didn’t want anyone to die due to his malfunctioning truck, and nobody else did.
Another truck driver who is known as Bam Bam online shared the story of what happened to Randall and how he died a hero. It wasn’t long before his post got over 48,000 reactions and it had been shared thousands of times. Everyone who commented on the story believed that Randall was a hero. This was what Bam Bam wanted. He wanted people to know that he gave up his life to save the lives of hundreds of people. Rest in Peace Randall.