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HesperiaStar.com
  • Overturned tanker, fuel spill snarls I-15 traffic in Hesperia

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  • HESPERIA — A double tanker truck overturned in an early Sunday morning two-vehicle crash and came to rest off northbound Interstate 15 near Joshua Street, spilling an estimated 150 gallons of fuel and snarling traffic as efforts of clean-up crews required emergency lane closures, officials said.
    The incident was reported at 5:16 a.m. to the California Highway Patrol. CHP incident logs showed that one of two tankers on the vehicle had ruptured.
    At 6:34 a.m., officials closed the number 3 lane for precautionary measures, incident logs showed. Roughly three hours later, all northbound lanes were shut down for about 15 minutes to aide the clean-up.
    According to CHP acting sergeant Michael Schwab, a passenger vehicle for unknown reasons veered into the tanker’s lane and clipped the truck’s front steering axle, causing the truck to swerve then overturn.
    The truck driver was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries and the driver of the passenger vehicle was not injured, San Bernardino County Fire Battalion Chief Jeffrey Birchfield said.
    The number three lane reopened at 2:29 p.m., according to incident logs, after crews had cleaned up the remaining fuel off the freeway roadside and removed all fuel from the tanker.
    “They brought another tanker in,” Birchfield said. “We had crews which drilled into the wrecked tanks and pumped (the fuel) out. That way, once we upright (the truck), there won’t be fuel in it. The hazard is...mitigated.”
    The two tankers collectively hold about 8,600 gallons of fuel and Birchfield estimated they were “close to being full.” The truck was lifted upright a little after 1:30 p.m.
    Traffic in the area, south of Main Street and near Highway 395, was reportedly modertate to heavy between Main Street and Ranchero Road most of the morning and into parts of the afternoon.
    A total of 18 county firefighters responded to the scene, along with an aircraft crash truck from Southern California Logistics Airport, a hazmat crew, CHP and Caltrans, Birchfield said.
    Shea Johnson may be reached at 760-955-5368 or SJohnson@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_Shea.
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