Overturned fuel tanker closes I-95 to northbound traffic for seven hours

Two of the three lanes for northbound traffic on I-95 were re-opened Tuesday afternoon, about seven hours after an overturned fuel tanker truck caused major delays for motorists along the Harford County portion of the interstate highway.

The crash, which involved the tanker truck and a passenger car near the south entrance of the Tydings Bridge shortly after 8 a.m., forced the closing of I-95 in both directions, Maryland State Police said.


Southbound traffic was allowed to resume using the roadway about two hours after the accident, but all northbound traffic was being sent onto Route 40 via Route 22 in Aberdeen, causing major delays there.

Well into the afternoon, traffic was still being detoured off the interstate at Aberdeen while Hazmat crews cleaned up a spill from the tanker's cargo.


Around 4:30 p.m., state police re-opened two of the lanes for northbound at the bridge.

The overturned truck spilled about 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel into the soil on the Harford County side of the bridge, Maryland Department of the Environment spokesman Jay Apperson said.

"It's a very steep hill there apparently. At this point, we don't believe there is anything in the river," Apperson said around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

"We are going to be setting up containment in the river just in case," he added.

"We were able to vacuum out some gasoline out of one of the pods," Apperson said, explaining the tanker had three pods.

The Coast Guard also responded to the scene, and the "responsible party" in the accident will be accountable for any clean-up of soil or other contaminated areas, Apperson said.

Apperson identified the trucking company as Pilot Flying J.

According to its website, Pilot Flying J, a Knoxville, Tenn., operator of truck and travel stops and bulk fuel supplier, operates the Pilot Travel Center at the I-95/Route 222 interchange in Perryville, on the other side of the bridge from where Tuesday's accident occurred.

A photograph from the scene showed the tanker had overturned just before the entrance to the bridge and came to rest on an embankment to the side of the lanes for northbound traffic.

Sgt. Marc Black, a spokesman from state police headquarters in Pikesville, said the tanker truck spilled part of its load and hazmat crews were dispatched to the scene and to the river for containment.

Black said he was told there were "very minor" injuries. He said the accident investigation would be handled by the JFK Barrack, which patrols the bridge and I-95.

At 1:30 p.m., all northbound traffic on I-95 was being still being rerouted onto Route 40 through Route 22 in Aberdeen, with cars crawling past the Maryland House area all the way down to the Route 22 interchange.


Traffic on Route 40 was moving fairly well by about 1 p.m., Lt. Fred Budnick of Aberdeen Police Department said. Aberdeen police were not involved with rerouting, he added.

"Any time that they divert traffic onto 22, it creates some traffic," Budnick said.

Check back with http://www.exploreharford.com for updates.

Aegis staff member Allan Vought contributed to this story.

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