SAN JOSE (BCN) — State Route 237 in San Jose, the site of a toppled-over tanker truck that had been carrying liquid nitrogen and was blocking all four lanes of traffic, has been cleared after about eight hours of closure, a California Highway Patrol officer said on Sunday morning.
The crash happened around 7:20 p.m. Saturday on the eastbound highway just west of First Street, San Jose Fire spokesman Chuck Rangel said.
The crash caused significant injuries to the driver and spilled about 50 gallons of diesel fuel onto the roadway, Rangel said.
No liquid nitrogen was spilled from the truck during the incident,
The driver, who was initially trapped inside the truck, was
eventually freed from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital for treatment, Rangel said. The man was conscious and talking at the time of his transportation, Rangel said.
There was no update on the driver’s condition as of 4:30 a.m., CHP Officer Ralph Caggiano said.
Traffic was backed up for up to a mile in both directions during
the aftermath of the collision, CHP and fire officials said. Traffic was eventually diverted onto the Great America Parkway off-ramp while the road was being cleared, according to the CHP.
A Sig-alert was issued for the roadway at about 7:30 p.m. to let motorists know all lanes were blocked. It was updated multiple times to let drivers know about the diversion onto the off-ramp and the latest estimated time of reopening. All lanes were blocked until at least 2:30 a.m., according to the CHP.
The spilled fuel was cleaned up relatively quickly, according to Caggiano, but it took personnel a long time to upright the tanker, which was on its side. Crews were also dispatched to assist in handling the truck’s load, he said.
The two left lanes of the highway were opened at 3:02 a.m., Caggiano said. All the units had left the scene and all lanes were open about twenty minutes later, he said.
The Sig-alert was lifted at 3:23 a.m., he said.
The cause of the overturned tanker has not yet been determined, Caggiano said.
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