I-80 closure caused by two rollover accidents
A semi-truck rollover Tuesday afternoon brought traffic to a halt, which led to another rollover accident
Portions of Interstate 80 were closed until early Wednesday morning following two separate crashes Tuesday afternoon.
The first incident occurred before 3:15 p.m. when a white semi-truck traveling westbound near mile marker 150 in Silver Creek Canyon caught fire, according to Sgt. Cameron Roden, public information officer for the Utah Highway Patrol. The semi-truck was pulling right when the driver overcorrected and rolled over just before the Tollgate exit.
Roden said the vehicle was carrying organic peroxide, a highly flammable chemical compound, which became compromised in the accident and caught fire. Tollgate Canyon residents were ordered to shelter in place since hazardous gas was released in the air, according to Roden.
Both directions of I-80 were closed as emergency crews managed the situation. The eastbound lanes were held until around 8 p.m while the westbound lanes reopened closer to 4 a.m., Roden said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were still some lane restrictions as hazardous material cleanup continued. Both directions of the Rail Trail in Silver Creek Canyon also remained closed because of possible water contamination.
Troopers investigating the accident suspect the rollover was caused by equipment failure, Roden said. The driver escaped the cab with minor injuries and no one else was hurt in the accident.
When traffic on eastbound I-80 began to slow down as cars neared the scene, another rollover occurred near mile marker 146, according to Roden.
He said the driver of a Toyota Highlander didn’t notice other vehicles were stopping. She hit the brakes hard and swerved left to avoid hitting the car in front of her but ended up clipping it. The Highlander then rolled left, partially blocking the lane, and ended up upside down. The driver had to be extracted from the vehicle with minor injuries. No one else was hurt.
Roden said traffic was already merging right because of the I-80 closure so the accident didn’t cause much more of a delay.
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