Hazardous Semi Wreck near Hermiston - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hazardous Semi Wreck near Hermiston

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UPDATE/HERMISTON, Ore. -- Highway 730 south of the Oregon/Washington border is reopened after a semi truck accident closed a portion of the highway for eight hours today. 

Oregon State Police say the semi carrying 10,000 gallons of jet fuel was driven by 72-year-old Richard James of San Antonio, Texas. 

Police say the semi truck traveled off the roadway, and the truck and trailers went down an embankment where they overturned onto their side with the truck coming to rest on railroad tracks.

James was able to get out of the truck and was later transported by ambulance to Good Shepherd Hospital in Hermiston with minor injuries. He was driving for KCCS Inc.

After the initial crash, one train approaching the area stopped, but a second train didn't stop and collided with the overturned truck and one of the tanker trailers.

OSP says only 10-15 gallons leaked onto the ground and there was no environmental damage.



HERMISTON, Ore. -- Portions of Highway 730 are closed tonight after a dangerous wreck in Hermiston on the border of Walla Walla.

Oregon State Police say a semi truck carrying 10,000 gallons of jet fuel veered off the road when a car tried to pass the driver. The truck landed on its side along the railroad tracks at around 6:00 am.

The driver was able to get out, with minor injuries to his back, but the semi couldn't be moved and about an hour and a half later, a Union Pacific train struck a part of that truck. "If the tanks would be closer to the tracks, there definitely could have been a pretty big explosion," said Trooper Jerrad Little with Oregon State Police.

Crews spent much of the afternoon cleaning up the wreckage. The HAZMAT regional coordinator, Scott Stanton said the tank leaked about 10-15 gallons of fuel into the ground.

"We're working with NRC, the HAZMAT clean-up company basically to off load the fuel and then we're going to work on getting the train moved past the truck to get the tracks opened up," said Stanton.

Crews expect to be working until around nine Monday evening doing clean up. Traffic is down to one lane near the wreck, so expect delays.