Truck overturns, spills more than 2 tons of brewing grain
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

March 24, 2006 -- A section of westbound Interstate 30 was closed down for nearly four hours Friday morning after an 18-wheeler overturned, spilling beer byproducts onto the roadway.

A secondary accident near the crash scene resulted in a pregnant woman complaining of back and neck pains being taken to the hospital.

Arbala, Cumby and Hopkins County firefighters were dispatched along with ambulance crews, deputies and state troopers to the 18-wheeler crash at 5:50 a.m. Friday. A passing motorist reported the truck overturned, spilling a slick, blue-green substance onto the westbound lane of Interstate 30 at the 120 mile marker, which is just past the U.S. Highway 67 exit. Hopkins County's Hazardous Materials Team was also activated due to the unknown substance which spilled onto the roadway and the median.

The truck driver, who did not sustain serious injuries, was hauling a load of wet brewer's grain, a byproduct of beer manufacturing, from Miller Brewery in Fort Worth to a Hopkins County dairy for use as fertilizer and cattle feed when the accident occurred, according to fire officials.

The truck was headed east when it left the road, crossing into the median before overturn ing and ending up on the westbound side of the interstate. The driver appeared to have over-corrected, causing the truck and trailer  to overturn onto its side. The trailer spilled 5,200 pounds of wet brewing grain onto the roadway and center median, according to State Trooper David Reynolds.

Fuller's Towing company was contacted to bring two large trucks to help upright the overturned truck and trailer. Meanwhile, firefighters and Texas Department of Transportation officials used their vehicles to shut down the westbound lanes of Interstate 30. Traffic was detoured off the interstate at the U.S. Highway 67 exit and down the north service road to the next entrance ramp. Firefighters and haz-mat technicians continued to monitor the scene until the wreckage was removed from the road, which firemen then sprayed down with water to clear the grain off the roadway.

A woman reported to be in the late months of pregnancy and her two young children were among the traffic being detoured off the interstate. She saw the first TxDoT truck parked designating the exit, but did not notice a second TxDoT vehicle until her Chevrolet Trailblazer crashed into the parked vehicle, located about 100 yards from the first crash scene. Firefighters had to extricate the woman from her vehicle using rescue tools. The two children, who were wearing seat belts in the back seat, were not injured. The woman did not have apparent injuries but was taken by ambulance to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital to be checked after complaining of back and neck pain, according to officials at the scene.

That section of Interstate 30 west remained closed at the U.S. Highway 67 exit and the next entrance until about 9:45 a.m. Friday, according to sheriff's reports.

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