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911 calls from tanker explosion released, driver remains in critical condition

Posted: 11:49 AM, Feb 21, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-22 09:40:43-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The man driving a tanker truck that overturned on I-70 at the I-465 overpass on Indianapolis' east side remains in critical condition Friday morning.

Jet Star Inc. released a statement Friday morning thanking the public for the "outpouring of support, prayers and concern" for their driver who they identified as Jeffrey "Duke" Denman.

"We are grateful that no one else was injured or involved. We would also like to offer a heartfelt “thank you” to the brave “Good Samaritan’s” that rushed to aid our driver and help him escape from further harm," the company said in their statement. "We would also like to thank all of the first responders and various public safety agencies involved, firefighters, EMS, EMA, law enforcement and INDOT."

Indiana State Police said Friday morning that Denman remained in the hospital in critical condition, but he was stable.

READ | Tanker driver critically injured after explosion on Indy interstate

Indianapolis Fire Department PIO Rita Reith said 911 dispatchers were inundated with calls following the explosion as drivers called in to report the unfolding scene. The first call came in at 1:50:05 p.m. and the last call about he fire was received at 2:05:13 p.m.

She also released the following statement about the number of calls received to remind the public that although it may have seemed like their call went unanswered for a long period of time, it was simply because they were being inundated with those wishing to help.

READ | Good Samaritan says he pulled driver from fire after tanker truck explosion

"We want to clarify for anyone who may have felt there was a delay in their call being answered, that at the outset, both sides were fully saturated with the incoming calls," Reith said. "All calls to the 911 center originate and are received on the police side and transferred to the fire side when warranted. When callers flood the system, during events such as this, the calls go into a queue and are answered as quickly as possible in the order received. At one point the queue showed twenty-three, 911 calls, in the queue. So many calls came in to the center at once, that after about 15 of the same type of call, the callers were simply told that resources are on the way and call was not further vetted. Additionally, City of Lawrence dispatch may have received calls as well due to the callers location on the interstate."

You can listen to four of those calls below.
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PHOTOS | Tanker truck explosion on Indy interstate

You can read the full statement from Jet Star Inc. below.

“We would like to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support, prayers and concern for our driver Jeffrey “Duke” Denman following yesterday’s tragedy involving one of our trucks on the east side of Indianapolis. We are grateful that no one else was injured or involved. We would also like to offer a heartfelt “thank you” to the brave “Good Samaritan’s” that rushed to aid our driver and help him escape from further harm. We would also like to thank all of the first responders and various public safety agencies involved, firefighters, EMS, EMA, law enforcement and INDOT. Thank you for your continued support and thoughts and prayers for our driver.”

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Jeffrey “Duke” Denman Jet Star Inc./Photo Provided