A tanker truck hauling 35,000 pounds of butane overturned Wednesday morning along Roberts Drive in Westwood. The accident just after 9:30 a.m. forced the closure of the road throughout much of the day between its intersection with New Buckley and Winslow as first responders worked to unload the truck and pull it from a ditch.
Butane is a highly flammable, colorless liquified gas commonly used in lighters. The tanker, owned by L&L Transport based in Waterloo, Ind., had just been loaded at the MarkWest plant in South Shore and was enroute to Greensboro, S.C., when the accident occurred.
Westwood Volunteer Fire Department Chief and Ashland-Boyd County Emergency Management Director Brent Webster said no butane leaked in the accident. The gas had to be pumped from the tanker into another before the damaged vehicle could be uprighted.
About 25 gallons of diesel fuel from the tank was spilled but quickly contained, Webster said.
The driver, a Summit man, was not hurt in the accident. He told first responders he swerved to miss an oncoming car that had crossed into his lane of traffic. The truck rolled over into a ditch.
“We were real lucky. It could have been a lot worse,” Webster said.