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Paint truck crash causes downtown haz-mat situation

The top of a paint company truck crashed into the bottom of an overpass this morning, spilling about 25 gallons of paint and closing part of South Stevens Street in downtown Spokane.

The Spokane Fire Department treated the spill as a hazardous materials incident although most of the paint was contained inside the crunched cargo container.

Battalion Chief Dave Haworth said the truck was southbound on Stevens when it slammed into the railroad overpass between First and Second Avenues around 8:30 a.m. No one was injured.

He said the overpass, at 11 feet, 6 inches high, is one of the lowest in the city but is clearly marked.

“We’ve had issues in the past here,” he said, pointing to visible missing chunks of the concrete bridge on either side.

Another truck was brought in to unload the paint and paint thinner, and a tow truck was called for the Sherwin Williams tractor trailer. Haworth said the fire department checked to ensure the runoff from the paint would go through the wastewater treatment plant and not into the river.

He said the driver of the truck was cited for the accident.

Around 11 a.m., Hayworth said the area would likely be closed another two hours.

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