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Mar-11-2006 14:58printcomments

Fuel Truck Tanker Fire Shuts Down I-5 South of Roseburg

Crash scene Photo Courtesy: OSP
Photo Courtesy: OSP

(ROSEBURG) - State troopers say a truck driver received minor injuries after the fuel truck he was driving struck a guardrail and caught fire on Interstate 5 about one mile south of Winston. The fire led to the closure of Interstate 5 in both directions until about 8:00 AM when one northbound lane was reopened. Southbound lanes remained closed for several hours.

Just after 4:30 AM, investigators say a fuel truck towing a tanker trailer with nearly 10,000 gallons of a combination of diesel and gasoline was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 118 in a highway work zone.

Reports indicate that the truck, driven by 43-year old Michael Lynn Searles of Lebanon, crashed into the end of a guardrail. The tank separated from the truck and came to rest on the west side guardrail, while the truck came to a stop in the southbound lanes.

The tanker trailer rested on the other side of a barrier in the work zone construction area.

Both tanks caught fire and were destroyed. Responding personnel estimates about 2,000 gallons of gasoline spilled into Roberts Creek.

The truck was registered to Truax Oil Company.

Oregon State Police troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, ODOT, Roseburg Fire Department, Douglas County Fire District 2, Winston-Dillard Fire Department, Myrtle Creek Fire Department, First Strike Environmental Company, and DEQ responded to this incident.

Police say Searles was taken to Mercy Medical Center where he was treated and released for minor injuries.




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