I-70 closed near Terre Haute for much of Thursday following morning spill

Thursday, June 6, 2013

TERRE HAUTE -- Eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 were closed in Vigo County from late Thursday morning to well into the evening following the wreck of a semi hauling hazardous chemicals.

At 11:51 a.m., Indiana State Troopers and Terre Haute Fire Department units responded to the 10-mile marker of eastbound I-70 for the overturned tractor-trailer. The commercial motor vehicle was carrying numerous containers of various hazardous chemicals.

Preliminary investigation revealed the tractor-trailer was eastbound on I-70, drifted off the right edge of the roadway, overcorrected, struck an electronic highway warning sign and ultimately rolled over.

The soft-top container trailer broke open, dispersing approximately 20 containers of the hazardous waste into the ditch area. Just a few of the containers leaked some of the waste onto the ground.

The driver, 42-year-old Michael D. Lasiter of St. Joseph, Mo., escaped with only a minor hand injury and was treated and released from Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

The containers were filled with hazardous waste chemicals such as corrosives, flammables and oxidizers.

This crash is not expected to pose a danger to area residents and no evacuations have occurred. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is aware and coordinating with ISP and Terre Haute Fire units.

A hazardous materials company from Indianapolis handled the chemical cleanup.

Lasiter was driving a 2007, Kenworth pulling a cargo trailer. The tractor-trailer was owned by Robbie D. Wood Inc. of Hueytown, Alabama. The load was en route from Kansas City, Mo., to Indianapolis.

The crash was just before an INDOT construction zone at the 11-mile marker, but traffic was operating normal and the work zone did not play a role in the crash. Driver error was the cause.

"One eastbound lane of I-70 was reopened as of 5:30 p.m. The other lane remained closed after 10 p.m."

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