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Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

home : latest news : local April 17, 2015

11/18/2013 9:06:00 AM
State Route 78 reopens
Jaclyn Randall
Associate Editor

BLYTHE - State Route 78 reopened over the weekend after it closed Nov. 8 after a fuel tanker crashed spilling thousands of gallons of diesel Nov. 8.

According to California Highway Patrol-Blythe, a 50-year old Ehrenberg, Ariz. man driving a 2005 Freightliner semi-truck carrying gas, at an unknown speed on eastbound on SR-78, made an unsafe turning maneuver and lost control of the vehicle. The semi left the roadway and rolled causing the 5,200 gallons of gasoline onto the dirt and paved highway shoulder.

Deemed a hazardous materials incident after the arrival of emergency personnel, the accident scene and SR-78 shutdown while the HazMat team cleaned up the gas.

CHP said because of "the magnitude of the incident, extensive cleanup and safety measures were being addressed as expediently as possible."

The driver of the Freightliner did not report any injuries in the crash.

Officials said that the scene was declared safe on Nov. 13 but the highway remained closed until this past weekend to allow for highway reconstruction.

During the closure, motorists were directed to use Arizona Highway 95 in Quartzite, Ariz. to travel from Interstate 10 to Interstate 8 (near Yuma, Ariz.) or State Route 86 and Highway 111 to travel between Interstate 10 near the Indio area and the Imperial Valley.

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