Highway 225 in La Porte has re-opened after a tanker truck full of propane overturned there more than 24-hours ago. That 18-wheeler hauling 5,000 gallons of propane gas hit the curve right on the bridge from Highway 146 to 225 and in that bend in the road the truck didn't make it. The tanker came crashing down, falling from the bridge and smashing into the street below. That happened around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday. There were two men inside the truck when it overturned falling from the bridge above and it hit the highway 225 feeder road. They are injured but survived. Amazingly that tanker did not burst into flames. "There was a leak when we got there, the first responders got there. Some pretty tense moments for all involved but we were able to get the two out of the truck and into an ambulance and eventually into a helicopter to get them to the hospital," explains La Porte Police Department Assistant Chief Steve Deardorff. One man is in stable condition. The other is still in the hospital in critical. "Head injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, significant injuries," Deardorff explains.
Highway 225 and 146 were immediately shut down just in case of an explosion. Fortunately, that didn't happen. Firefighters safely and slowly burned off the propane for fourteen and a half hours. When that was finished, around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon a tow truck hauled the overturned tanker away. The highways, feeders and bridges I'm told have been inspected and are safe to drive on. Hwy 146 was re-opened Tuesday. 225 remained shut down until 3:40 p.m. Wednesday.
So what caused the tanker to lose control in the curve? "I would be guessing if I said anything. You can always say the speed was too fast to negotiate the curve but we really don't know what happened on that curve. He may have been cut off. He may have lost a tire. I just don't know," says Deardorff.
How long had the truck driver been behind the wheel before the accident? Where was he coming from and going? Chief Deardorff says there are still a lot of questions and they are investigating to find out the answers.