Captain Monica Alexander
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax
*** For Immediate Release***
Tanker Rollover Causes Road Closure
Cle Elum -- A tanker truck hauling gasoline lost control on Interstate 90, spilling gasoline and blocking the roadway for several hours. The tanker truck left the roadway to the left, collided into a guardrail, and rolled over; blocking the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 at milepost 81. A Ford Expedition behind the tanker truck pulled over to check on the driver. As the passenger of the Expedition was exiting the vehicle, a third vehicle lost control, struck the Expedition, and passenger. Two people from the collision were transported to Kittitas Valley Healthcare in Ellensburg; the driver of the tanker and the Expedition's passenger.
The tanker truck was damaged in the collision, and an estimated 3,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from the tanker. A Seattle based hazardous materials response team was called to assist with containment of the spilled gasoline. The team was also responsible for the removal of the remaining gasoline in the tanker truck so that it could be up righted. Due to positioning of the tanker truck and damage to the tank, a hole had to be drilled into the tank so the remaining fuel could be pumped into a separate tanker. Tow trucks then up righted the vehicle and the roadway was cleaned to remove any remaining contaminants. When the road was safe to travel, it was reopened; an hour sooner than estimated.
Freezing rain in the area at the time of the collisions, and vehicles exceeding the reasonable speed for the conditions were contributing factors. We respect and appreciate Good Samaritans that are willing to assist those involved in collisions. However, we ask that if you choose to stop and assist, you use extreme caution and carefully consider the associated dangers. Park well off the road with your hazard lights activated and always stay away from where other vehicles can slide into you or your vehicle.