DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A crash involving an overturned tanker truck created chaos in Dallas on Thursday, as the High Five interchange was shut down for hours, through the morning rush hour and beyond. This is where the LBJ Freeway and Central Expressway intersect. It is often the busiest area of North Texas.
The incident happened at about 4:30 a.m. on a ramp from southbound Central Expressway to the eastbound LBJ Freeway.
According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, the tanker truck simply struck a wall and tipped over. Nobody was hurt and no other cars were involved in the crash, but the truck was filled with highly flammable resin, used for the production of plastics, when it overturned on the ramp. The position of the truck made it difficult to move.
A small amount of the resin did leak onto the ground below the ramp.
Since this posed a possible threat to drivers along all parts of the interchange, officials were forced to close highways in all directions. The tanker truck was sprayed down with a flame retardant foam, but authorities still thought that the threat was too great.
The tanker truck, driven by a 58-year-old man, belongs to Trans Wood from Omaha. Another company came to off-load the resin. After that, efforts will be made to upright the large vehicle. TxDOT said that they could not remember a previous time when the entire High Five interchange was shut down.
Drivers who found themselves stuck in the traffic backup did their best to make good of the frustrating situation. As people started running low on gas, many could be seen turning off their vehicles and getting out of their cars, chatting with other stranded commuters.
A few people even walked to a nearby Whataburger for food.
Crews were able to open a few lanes at about 10:30 a.m. in order to relieve some of the traffic backup. The only directions getting through now are eastbound along the LBJ Freeway and the ramp from the westbound LBJ Freeway to northbound Central Expressway.
The Environmental Protection Agency responded to the scene to address any environmental impact that the incident may have had, while the Box 4 Fire Buffs and Amercan Red Cross were on location with food and refreshments to help first responders, and everyone involved, battle the elements.
As of 2:30 p.m., the resin was completely off-loaded into another 18-wheeler, and departed the scene. Wreckers have begun the process of hooking up the wrecked 18-wheeler so it can be towed away.
DFR units have cleared the scene, as police elements have opened traffic in all directions except the ramp on which the accident occurred.