KENT, WA – A semi tanker truck crashed and overturned Tuesday night, September 21, on a highway in King County, Washington. The truck accident also involved two tow trucks and occurred near the city of Kent, WA. The collision would shut down southbound Interstate 5 for almost twelve hours, causing major delays in the morning commute. The accident area is in northwest Washington State, between Seattle and Tacoma.
On Tuesday night a semi double tanker truck was traveling through King County, WA on southbound Interstate 5. The truck had the logo for Harris and Beall Corp. and was carrying approximately 10,000 gallons of gasoline in one tank and about 900 gallons of diesel fuel in the other tank. Beall Corporation is a national company that builds custom tanks and trailers.
At the same time two heavy duty tow trucks were hauling away a semi truck from the interstate. One flatbed tow truck was taking the trailer section and the other was taking the disabled semi tractor section.
The truck accident happened at about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday night as the tanker truck driver moved through the region near the city of Kent, WA. A witness told police that the flatbed tow truck hauling the trailer section suddenly pulled into the path of the tanker truck. The double tanker truck was unable to swerve out of the way and collided with the flatbed tow truck.
After colliding with the tow truck, the double tanker lost its balance and flipped over on its side at the edge of the interstate near State Route 516. The force of the truck accident ruptured the diesel tank and diesel fuel began to spill into a ditch that ran along the highway.
Emergency teams rushed to the scene of the truck accident. Fortunately the drivers were able to escape their trucks and no one was injured in the collision and rollover. John Halberg, the driver of the heavy duty tow truck hauling the tractor section heard the two other trucks collide. He reported that he got out of his truck and “Ran like hell” after the collision. Mr. Halberg also saw the tanker driver jump out of his rig and move away from the overturned truck.
The fuel spill caused by the truck accident created a dangerous situation and police were on the scene shutting down sections of the highway. According to a Washington State Patrol trooper the main concern was keeping people away from the flipped tanker truck and spilled fuel until it could be safely cleared off the highway. According to the trooper there was the potential of the fuel igniting and setting off an explosion.
Troopers shut down southbound lanes of I-5 for almost twelve hours while a Haz-mat team was brought in to clean up the spilled fuel and keep it out of any nearby water systems. The team also had to drain the gasoline and diesel that remained in the two tankers of the truck and transfer it to a different double tanker. Once the two tanks were empty the overturned truck would be put back on its wheels and towed off the interstate.
The truck accident scene was still being cleared during the Wednesday morning commuter rush, causing considerable traffic delays. The southbound lanes of I-5 were finally reopened shortly before 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.
No charges have been made at this time and the truck accident remains under investigation.
Truck Accidents 360 is a truck accident attorney news blog that reports on up to date truck accidents across the United States. Since trucking laws are governed by hundreds of regulations, it is important to consult with truck accident lawyers who know the trucking laws for each state. Find out more information about Washington truck accidents.