Trucker who survived fatal I-94 hazmat crash suspected of negligent homicide

His arrest comes after the death of Randall Buxton, a 72-year-old Canadian man who was involved in the accident.

Yuhai Zhu
Yuhai Zhu.
Submitted photo / Cass County Jail

FARGO — The surviving driver involved in a semi crash with hazardous materials on Interstate 94 on Wednesday, March 15, was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide Thursday.

Yuhai Zhu, a 52-year-old man from Richmond Hill, Ontario, is being held in Cass County Jail, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

His arrest comes after the death of Randall Buxton, a 72-year-old man from New Westminster, British Columbia.

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A crash involving multiple semis carrying hazardous materials has forced Interstate 94 to shut down between Casselton and West Fargo.

Buxton's truck slammed into the back of Zhu's tanker trailer on I-94, just two miles west of Mapleton. Zhu had stopped or slowed down in the right westbound lane for an unknown reason prior to the crash, according to the patrol.

Zhu's tanker was carrying ethylene glycol, or green antifreeze fluid. Buxton was hauling large HVAC equipment. The plane deicer leaked as a result of the crash, and Buxton's truck caught fire.


Buxton was found dead inside the cab of his truck after the fire was extinguished by Mapleton and Casselton fire departments, the report said.

The westbound lanes of I-94 was closed for about eight hours following the crash while crews removed the vehicles involved, according to the patrol. Eastbound lanes were closed for an hour.

A crash involving two semis, including one hauling airplane deicer fluid, was engulfed in flames on Wednesday, March 15 along Interstate 94 near Mapleton, North Dakota.
Submitted photo

An estimated 6,500 to 6,700 gallons of ethylene glycol leaked from the tanker trailer into the north ditch along I-94.

The green antifreeze is not a hazard to the motoring public, the patrol said, adding that an environmental company will handle the glycol spill.

Zhu had not been formally charged as of Thursday, and court records did not list an attorney for him.

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