ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The driver of a fuel tank that sparked a massive explosion at a St. Augustine gas station is facing criminal charges.
David Cowles suffered severe burns when he was off-loading fuel at the station on State Road 16 last August, when the tank overflowed and sparked a fire that set off a series of explosions.
An investigation by the State Fire Marshal determined Cowles was responsible for the accident, because he stepped away from the tank during the refueling process. He was cited for culpable negligence.
Cowles attorney told Action News his client only stepped away after the refueling.
But the State Attorney's office disagreed, and in July they charged Cowles with criminal culpable negligence. It's a second degree misdemeanor that carries a minimum of 6 months probation and 60 days in jail. Cowles is scheduled to appear before a St. Johns County judge on Friday.
Cowles attorney filed a written plea of not-guilty on behalf of Cowles in July.