By Bill Smith
World Ruston Bureau
VIENNA – Two persons were killed and a portion of U.S. 167 closed as a result of a firey crash of a gasoline tank truck and a pickup truck about four miles north of here Monday around 12:14 pm.
State police identified the two persons killed as David Wayne Boddie, 22, of Ruston and Mrs. Jessie B. Goss, 48, of Bernice.
Police said Boddie was traveling north on U.S. 167 and had just passed a vehicle driven by Mrs. Goss when he lost control of his pickup truck and crossed the center line into the path of an oncoming gasoline tank truck owned by the Wheeling Pipeline Co. of El Dorado, Ark.
Boddie’s truck hit the tank truck head on and was severed just behind the cab ejecting the driver, police said.
The Boddie truck continued 94 feet from the point of impact and came to rest on the west shoulder, according to police, and Boddie was thrown some 110 feet landing on the east shoulder of the road killing him instantly.
The tank truck, driven by Charles Barnes, 38, of Bernice, continued south jackknifing and striking the Goss vehicle instantly killing Mrs. Goss, they added.
A passenger in the Goss vehicle, Mrs. L. Fitzgerald, also of Bernice, was found walking along the road near the scene of the accident and was taken to Lincoln General Hospital in Ruston where she is listed in serious condition.
After striking the Goss vehicle the tank truck overturned and landed cross-ways across a concrete bridge and burst into flames.
The driver remained in the vehicle, police said, until it came to a stop, unfastened his seat belt and crawled out of the firey wreck unharmed.
Local fire units from Bernice, Ruston, Farmerville, Homer, and Dubach responded to state police pleas for support from all possible units.
Traffic along U.S. 167 was rerouted all afternoon and was to continue into the night, police said.
Units from the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s office, Union Parish Sheriff’s office, Ruston police, Dubach police, Bernice police and Farmerville police along with six units from State Police headquarters in Monroe, Ruston and Farmerville were on hand for disaster control.
The blaze took firemen some two hours to extinguish; police said, and all of the truck’s 8,000 gallons of gasoline burned.
Police said they chose to let the gasoline burn itself out rather than extinguish the blaze quickly with chemicals because of the danger of having that quantity of gasoline spilling out over the roadway and into streams.
Boddie’s stepfather, D. C. Cruse, 64, of Ruston died Sunday following a brief illness at the Lincoln General Hospital in Ruston. His funeral is scheduled for today.
Funeral services for Mrs. Goss will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the First Baptist Church of Bernice with the Rev. Donald B. Lemmons officiating, assisted by the Rev. James F. Gray.
Burial will be in the Shiloh Cemetery under the direction of Kilpatrick’s Funeral Home of Bernice.
Mrs. Goss was a native and lifelong resident of Bernice and was active in the First Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school. She was a member of the church choir and the Eastern Star Union Chapter No. 29 of Bernice.
She is survived by her husband, Watson Goss of Bernice; and two daughters, Miss Mary Ann Goss of Monroe and Mrs. Jeanne Burns of Baton Rouge; one sister Mrs. Corrie Buckley of Bernice.
Funeral arrangements for Boddie are incomplete at this time but will be announced by Spears Funeral Home of Ruston.
Boddie is survived by his widow, Mrs. Becky Ann Boddie with the U.S. Air Force at San Antonio, Tex.; his mother, Mrs. Lillian Cruse of Ruston and one daughter, Becky Renee Boddie of Bernice.