National Affairs: Take It Easy

Tall, 23-year-old William L. Cox is a cocky, capable truckman and he drives a big rig—a tractor and a double-tank trailer. Some of his admiring fellow truckers would say that sharp-eyed Billy could roll his rig through an oven door without jarring the roast.

Billy's trailers were laden with explosive isobutane, as he barreled along on Franklin Canyon Highway one day last week. On a curve outside Pinole, Calif., he swung around a car. Another car was coming toward him. A woman was driving, and there were three kids in the back seat. Billy saw the car waver, then veer to the...

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