March 23, 2009 in Idaho

U.S. 195 reopens after early-morning collision

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photo

A tank trailer still full of diesel fuel lies on an embankment Monday afternoon, Mar. 23, 2009. A double tanker truck carrying 24,000 gallons of diesel fuel burst into flames in a 5 a.m. collision March 23 was expected to block U.S. Highway 195 between Spangle and Plaza in south Spokane County for 11 hours, according to the Washington State Patrol.
(Full-size photo)

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U.S. Highway 195 has reopened between Spangle and Plaza in south Spokane County after a tanker truck collision kept it closed for much of the day, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The truck carrying diesel fuel burst into flames in a 5 a.m. collision that sent two drivers to Spokane hospitals.

The wreck occurred when a southbound pickup driven by Cesar Carrillo, 24, of Spokane, tried to pass the tanker truck and lost control on the highway.

The pickup slammed into the left side of the tanker driven by Michael L. Green, 50, of Spokane Valley, who was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Carillo was taken to Deaconess Medical Center.

The 1996 Kenworth rig and truck struck a concrete barrier and guardrail.

A 7,500 gallon fuel trailer went over an embankment while the semi with its other 7,500 gallon tank rolled onto its side on the highway and caught fire, according to troopers.

The pickup came to rest down an embankment on its wheels, troopers said.

Fire crews from Cheney and Rosalia responded to extinguish the blaze.

Troopers said the highway remained closed until after 6 p.m. so that remaining fuel on one of the truck’s two tanks could be offloaded. The state Department of Transportation took over the accident scene mid-morning.

The state Department of Ecology also was responding.

It was one of a series of accidents this morning, including three accidents that backed up commuter traffic on Interstate 90 near Freya Street.

Icy conditions were reported on area roadways following Sunday’s day-long rain storm. Temperatures dropped below freezing in Spokane and other locations as clouds cleared prior to sunrise.

• Another semi-truck was involved in accident on Interstate 90 about 4 a.m. just west of Spokane on the West Plains. One person was hurt and three others who were involved in the accident were not injured, troopers said.

• Spokane sheriff’s deputies were responding to a one-car rollover accident on Deer Park-Milan Road about 7 a.m.

• Another vehicle was reported off the roadway on Foothills Road at Forker Road.

• Troopers were called to the eastbound lanes of I-90 at Thor and Freya streets for a pair of accidents that occurred at 7:30 and just before 8 a.m. A total of five vehicles were involved.

• About the same time, troopers were called to the westbound lanes of I-90 near Thor for a two-vehicle accident.

• Spokane police were responding to an accident on Southeast Boulevard in which a vehicle reportedly struck a tree.

• Just before 8 a.m., another accident was reported near Waikiki and Mill roads.

• Idaho State Police said they had four morning accidents, but details were not available.

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