Interstate in Slidell reopened after crash caused by driver going in reverse

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:29 PM

WWLTV.com

SLIDELL, La. -- A crash closed parts of the interstate at the junction of I-10, I-12 and I-59 on Wednesday, according to DOTD, as officials cleaned up a hazardous material that spilled on the roadway. The roadway was reopened by Thursday morning.

The crash happened around 12:35 p.m, when a tanker truck coming from a Chalmette refinery spilled weakened caustic soda liquid. The tanker truck turned on its side at the split to go east to Mississippi as Interstate-59 goes north.

According to State Police, the crash happened when a car missed turning onto I-10 at the split. The car stopped on I-59 shoulder and tried to back up in the parking lane to cut over to I-10.

The car swerved onto I-59 roadway and was hit by truck.  The tanker truck, which was carrying caustic solution, an irritant, suffered a small leak in tank. A transfer truck was brought in to offload the remaining cargo, according to State Police.

According to DOTD, the roadway partially reopened around 1:10 p.m, though officials reported heavy delays, saying congestion reached as far as the US 190/Gause exit.

"You know, just taking an overabundance of caution. Make sure we close the roadway, make sure we identify that chemical, and making sure it's safe to open the roadway back up before we do so," said State Police Trooper Nick Manale.

Manale said the leaked chemicals shouldn't pose a health hazard to nearby residents and drivers as long as they don't come in physical contact with the chemical. He said State Police are not worried about residents inhaling the chemical by air.

The DOTD shut down I-59 completely in the area to clear up the remaining chemicals by pumping it out of the tanker. 

"They're drilling a hole in the top of the tanker, and they're going to start transferring that product from the overturned tanker to the new tanker," Manale said.

A man and woman in the car that was hit were injured in the crash, according to State Police, and the driver of the tanker truck was injured as well. The three people were taken to the hospital.

 

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