Oil tanker spill slows traffic on I-80 westbound
April 30, 2014
Roughly 4,000 gallons of crude oil spilled onto Interstate 80 westbound Wednesday morning when two semi trailers crashed near Lambs Canyon. Traffic on I-80 westbound was reduced to one lane for several miles, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.
The crash occurred just after 6 a.m. on Wednesday when a box-style semi trailer rear-ended a crude oil double tanker truck near mile post 138, causing the rear trailer of the tanker truck to overturn. About 105 barrels of crude oil, or 4,000 gallons, spilled onto the north side of I-80 westbound, with some oil running off the roadway, according to Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce.
The right two lanes of the freeway were closed off and UDOT reduced traffic from mile post 137 to 140 to one left lane of travel. Royce said the driver of the semi trailer who rear-ended the tanker sustained minor injuries and was transported to the University of Utah Hospital.
The Utah Department of Health was called to the scene, and determined it was necessary to bring in an environmental clean-up company to assess and mitigate potential damage to a nearby watershed, which provides drinking and culinary water.
Royce said I-80 westbound will not be fully open until around 1 p.m. as crews work to clean up the scene. The tanker that overturned was in pieces when officials arrived.
"Clean-up [of the oil] may run into a couple of days," Royce said.