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ROSS TOWNSHIP, PA – Fifty homes and at least one business were evacuated Wednesday afternoon, Aug 11, after a semi tanker truck accident that spilled potentially dangerous chemicals in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The single vehicle rollover collision occurred on the entrance ramp to the Parkway North Highway/I-279, close to the exit to Bellevue-West View in Ross Township. The truck accident area is in the Pittsburgh metro region in the west section of the state, about 62 miles southeast of Youngstown, Ohio and about 79 miles north of Morgantown, West Virginia.

The tank was filled with about 48,000 gallons of sodium hydrosulfide solution, a corrosive chemical.

At about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon a truck driver was driving a tanker truck on Union Avenue through Ross Township. The tank was filled with about 48,000 gallons of sodium hydrosulfide solution, a corrosive chemical used for pollution control. The chemical is considered hazardous and can cause serious injuries if it is inhaled or comes in contact with skin or eyes.

When the truck driver reached the area near the Bellevue-West View exit he attempted to merge onto the interstate. As the driver traveled on the entrance ramp to Parkway North /I-279 he lost control of his tanker truck for unknown reasons.

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The semi tanker truck rolled over onto the interstate, blocking some traffic lanes on the interstate. The impact of the truck accident caused a small rip in the tank and the potentially dangerous chemical began to leak out of the tank. According to Allegheny County officials the chemicals were leaking at a rate of about a quart an hour.

No other persons or vehicles were involved in the truck accident.

The driver suffered unspecified injuries in the rollover. He was treated and stabilized at the scene of the truck accident and then transported to a local hospital. The extent of his injuries has not been released but are considered not life threatening.

Local police and the Allegheny County Emergency Medical Services department felt that the chemicals spilled in the truck accident could be a health hazard and called for an immediate evacuation of the area. According to authorities the occupants of about 50 homes and at least one business were evacuated.

A Haz-Mat team was brought to the site of the truck accident to clean up the spilled chemicals. They were able to keep the chemical contained in a creek bed at the top of the hill and out of the creek.

A section of Parkway North/I-279 and Union Ave. were shut down while highway crews worked to clear the traffic lanes. A second tanker truck was brought to the scene and the chemicals which remained in the tank were transferred to the new truck.

The evacuated families were allowed to return to their homes sometime Wednesday evening. Crews would continue to work through the night hoping to have the traffic lanes cleared in time for the morning commuter rush.

Authorities conducted a reconstruction of the rollover truck accident however they have not released their findings at this time. It is not known if they consider excessive speed or drugs and alcohol as factors in the incident.

No charges have been made at this time and the truck accident remains under investigation.


For more information about Pennsylvania trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims rights, contact a nationwide truck accident attorney at Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP for expert advice. For a free initial consultation, talk to a PA truck accident lawyer at 800.773.6770.

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