In Gary, Indiana State Police say an early morning hazmat crash shut down a portion of northbound I-65 north of the I-80 westbound ramp for nearly twelve hours Saturday. A tanker tipped over around 4:30 am, and an empty tanker on its way to offload the hazardous materials was struck from behind about six-hours later. [Photo/Indiana State Police]
Troopers say a preliminary investigation revealed the first semi hauling nearly seven-thousand gallons of a liquid hazardous material flipped onto its passenger side on the snow-covered road after being cut off by a car so the car could exit the eastbound Borman ramp. The semi driver was unhurt. Troopers say a small leak was discovered after the crash.
Another semi/tanker was called out of Oak Brook, Illinois, to come to the scene to offload the hexanes, a colorless, flammable liquid, derived from distillation of petroleum and used as a solvent. Troopers say that empty tanker was hit as the driver stood outside his semi to gain access to the accident scene. After activating his hazard emergency lights, the driver went out to talk to a Hoosier Helper blocking I-65 from the earlier crash when the second tanker was struck by a minivan that came around a curve, began to slide and struck the rear of the tanker, police say. The minivan driver was treated and released at the scene and the semi driver was uninjured. Police say the tanker sustained minimal damage and was able to be used to offload the hazardous material from the earlier crash and all lanes were re-opened on I-65 north bound shortly after 4 pm.
Assisting: Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Division Sergeant Wanda Clay, Indiana Department of Transportation Hoosier Helpers, Gary and Lake Station Fire and Haz Mat, Waffco Towing, and Service Environmental; Hoosier Helpers and Gary Fire Department.