The accident happened on the BR-232 highway in the Bezerros municipality, near the city of Gravatá, state of Pernambuco, in northeastern Brazil.
69 year old José Luis de Medeiros was on his way to Toritama driving a grain truck filled with several tonnes of Barley when he was rear-ended by a fuel truck filled with 30,000 liters of diesel fuel driven by Francisco de Assis Souza Almeida. The impact threw the old man out of the cabin and flipped both trucks on the side. The grain truck landed on the old man, crushing him to death and burying him under the hill of barley. His brain was ejected out of his skull and found two feet away from his head.
The fuel truck which belongs to a businessman who owns gas stations in the town of Santa Cruz do Capibaribe in Pernambuco was also flipped on the side and had all 30,000 liters of highly combustible fuel it carried spilled on the road. Magically, barley which was spilled across the same area absorbed the fuel, preventing not only its possible explosion, but perhaps also damage to the environment, halting the fuel from contaminate the soil and the water streams.
The loss of life is tragic – especially since it was an old man who still worked at the age of 69 to make ends meet, but it’s just mind-blowing how the collision had a potential to cause a lot of grief but it did not happen simply because the two substances spilled interacted with each other.