State hazardous waste experts supervised the cleanup of two accidents near Nephi on Sunday that closed I-15 at two sites.
Steve Pelton, Utah Highway Patrol trooper, said the first accident occurred at 3 a.m. 23 miles south of Nephi when James E. Greene, 57, Las Vegas, Nev., swerved to miss deer on the freeway and lost the last of three trailers he was pulling.The trailer, owned by Viking Freight Lines, broke open and spilled tricloroethane on the freeway.
A state hazardous material cleanup crew, under the direction of trooper Michelle Towers, had to dig up the earth at the site and haul it away.
"You can't get tricloroethane out of the environment," said Pelton.
The northbound lanes of the freeway were blocked, and traffic was held up for a time, said Pelton. The traffic was routed around the spill. "Luckily there isn't too much traffic at that time of morning," said Pelton.
The driver was not injured and only the trailer was damaged.
The second accident occurred at 2 p.m. just four miles north of Nephi when a tractor-trailer unit driven by Patricia Spratt, 30, Gulf Port, Miss., drifted to the right of the freeway. Pelton said Spratt overcorrected and the tractor-trailer unit rolled, completely blocking the southbound lanes of I-15.
The trailer was loaded with paint thinner and other chemicals, said Pelton.
Traffic was routed around the accident and through Mona for two hours, said Pelton.
The state hazardous material cleanup crew determined the containers in the trailer had not broken open and the freeway was cleared, said Pelton.
The U.S. Express Co. truck and trailer were totaled in the accident, said Pelton.
Spratt and her co-driver were both taken by East Juab County Ambulance to Central Valley Medical Center where they were treated for bruises and abrasions and later released.