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Hazardous materials spill forces detours

Thousands of motorists were forced to take detours most of Wednesday after a Las Vegas bound truck hauling hazardous materials wrecked off the main highway between Bullhead City, Ariz., and Kingman, Ariz.

Police Lt. Steve Smith said the tractor-trailer and a pressurized 6,000 gallon tank full of a cooling agent sped down a 6 percent grade on state Route 68 when it wrecked about 7 a.m.

Smith said the truck driver lost control on a corner and the rig overturned just inside the Bullhead City limits. Only about 40 gallons of the liquid Dowtherm A spilled, Smith said, but the rest of the cooling agent in the tanker posed a public safety threat.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Tunforss said the highway reopened about 4 p.m. after the hazardous material was pumped into another tanker and hauled away. Personnel will return today to finish cleanup and remove the wreckage.

The truck driver, who was hauling the load from Texas, suffered a couple of broken bones and less serious injuries and was released following treatment at a local hospital, according to Smith. He said a Department of Public Safety officer clocked the runaway vehicle at 90 miles per hour.

No citations have been issued, but the investigation continues. Smith said authorities are trying to determine why the driver did not ditch his rig in either of two runaway truck ramps.

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