On December 27, 1989, Kris Mercurio and her family hit an overturned tanker truck on the 10 Freeway in Claremont, CA.
The tanker exploded, killing Kris, her husband Alan Mercurio, her daughter Brandie Rooker, and her son Anthony Mercurio.
The tanker truck had been experiencing brake problems, which the truck driver ignored. As a result, the truck’s brakes locked, causing the back trailer to overturn so that the cab and first trailer were facing the wrong direction on the freeway. There was not enough room between the guard rail and the overturned trailer full of gasoline for Kris’ family to avoid the crash.