Driver on Drugs Crashes Propane Tanker

Apr 23, 2013 8:20 PM

A potentially explosive vehicle crash affecting I-5 much of the morning, was caused by a driver allegedly under the influence.

A tanker filled with more than a thousand gallons of liquid propane, slipped off the side of the road and collided with a tree.

Emergency personnel found themselves in a precarious situation. They had to make a rescue, while dealing with a very explosive situation.

8:30 Tuesday morning, a fuel tanker exiting northbound I-5 slips off the side of the Bowman Road off-ramp.

“The truck was venting and obviously the load had shifted and there was some propane that had vented and we treated that as a release,” said Officer Jake Bushey with the California Highway Patrol.

Officials could smell gas, but they didn't know how much had been released. They shut down I-5 to prevent any possible sources of ignition.

Next, crews had to save the life of the truck driver who was still inside the wreckage.

“It came to rest obviously on its top, trapping the driver inside,” said Bushey.

“So his lower extremities were pinned rather extensively between the wheel and some of the dash components,” said Batt. Chief Hunt Dennis of Cal Fire Tehama County.

Fire fighters used the jaws of life to remove 46-year-old Roger Anthony of Lake County. He was flown to the hospital and arrested for being under the influence of prescription or illicit drugs.

The hard part came next. Removing the stranded tanker, and doing it safely.

“We have several safety protocols that have to be followed and it is just a lengthy process to get the load off of the truck,” said Bushey.

The fuel was offloaded to another tanker that had been called in to help, allowing crews to start removing the wreckage.

While bowman road was closed most of the day, I-5 reopened a little after 10am, when crews determined the threat of explosion had been mitigated.


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