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Update: Sir Francis Drake in San Rafael Reopened 19+ Hours After Big Rig Crash

According to the CHP, the road reopened shortly before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Vacuum trucks were brought in to remove the contained fuel on the ground and begin the process of transferring fuel from the overturned truck. An environmental contractor is also arriving on scene to assist with the cleanup efforts. SRFD photo.
Vacuum trucks were brought in to remove the contained fuel on the ground and begin the process of transferring fuel from the overturned truck. An environmental contractor is also arriving on scene to assist with the cleanup efforts. SRFD photo.
By Bay City News Service:

The California Highway Patrol has reopened Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near San Quentin State Prison in Marin County where a big-rig that contained two gasoline tank trailers overturned on Monday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

The driver of the big-rig, Christopher Knight, 30, of Sacramento, tried to recover the sliding trailer but completely lost control and crashed around 7 a.m. Monday, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said. 

According to the CHP, the road reopened shortly before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. 

A CHP officer said the right tires on one of the trailers went onto the soft right shoulder of the road and slid out. 

The crash occurred as the big-rig traveled west on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and rolled onto its right sides, then slid across the eastbound lane. 

The truck and first trailer remained on their right side, but the rear trailer continued to roll and landed mostly on its roof, Barclay said. 

The CHP estimated 1,700 gallons of fuel spilled from the punctured rear tank trailer. 

Knight was not injured and was able to free himself from the truck. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, Barclay said. 

PG&E shut off power in the area, including power to homes that were evacuated in the prison complex on Valley Way, San Rafael Fire Chief Chris Gray said. 

A 1,000-foot exclusion zone was established around the spill, including the 10 evacuated homes in San Quentin Village, Barclay said. 

Sir Francis Drake Boulevard was closed between Larkspur Landing Circle and Interstate Highway 580 and traffic was diverted onto city streets, causing a backup on Interstate Highway 580 and on San Rafael streets, Barclay said. 

The Golden Gate Ferry Terminal at Larkspur Landing remained open throughout the day and ferry commuters were not affected, Barclay said. 

A second big-rig with two empty tank trailers responded to the scene to remove the spilled gas and unload the gas from the intact front tanker of the overturned big-rig, Barclay said. 

A heavy-duty tow truck was expected to right the truck and trailers before they were removed from the road after all the fuel was removed from the trailers, according to Barclay. 

A hazardous materials team then determined the ensuing cleanup procedures, he said. 

The truck and trailers were removed at about 9 p.m., and crews paved the roadway before it was reopened, according to the CHP. 

The rear trailer may have leaked all of its contents, however, much of the gas was contained in dams and was being removed by pumps, Barclay said Monday afternoon. 

San Rafael firefighters created a primary containment area around the tank and a secondary containment on the road and adjacent to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to capture leaking fuel, Gray said. 

Crews also used absorbent material and sand that was brought to the scene, Gray said. 

The San Quentin Fire Department captured fuel runoff adjacent to the road in a catch basin to keep it out of San Pablo Bay, according to Gray. 

Vacuum trucks were brought in to remove the contained fuel on the ground and to transfer the fuel from the overturned truck, Gray said. 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Central Marin and San Rafael police department, the Marin County Sheriff's Office, the Larkspur Fire Department and the Marin County hazardous materials team all responded to the scene.  
 
 

Reginald "Rex" Henderson July 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM
A huge round of applause is owed to the emergency workers that responded to and cleared this mess. It could have been a lot worse!

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