US 59 reopens after gas spill cleaned up

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Dec. 16, 2012 at 6:16 a.m.
Updated Dec. 17, 2012 at 6:17 a.m.

A natural gas spill in Wharton County on U.S. 59 Sunday morning shut down the highway for about eight hours.

A 1999 Tideport Distributing tractor trailer towing a 1998 Polar tanker, driven by Richard Earl Green, of Houston, overturned about 4:45 a.m. Sunday, spilling the truck's contents of natural gas on the highway, a Department of Public Safety report stated.

Green was traveling north on U.S. 59 when he swerved into the center median and overcorrected the vehicle, causing the large amount of liquid contents in the tractor to shift and move the vehicle from lane to lane.

The tractor-trailer was forced on its side in the grass center median, about two-tenths of a mile from Farm-to-Market Road 1160, the report said.

Pierce Trooper Mark Contreras was assigned to investigate the wreck. Troopers from Pierce, Rosenberg, Bay City and Hempstead, as well as El Campo Fire Department and the Texas Department of Transportation, also responded to the scene.

Traffic was temporarily rerouted to FM 1160, County Road 352 and back onto U.S. 59.

Regional Hazmat Response Team of Sugar Land secured the scene, and all lanes of the highway were reopened at 1:15 p.m.

The liquid contents remaining in the truck were transferred to another tanker truck.

No one was injured in the wreck. The report did not specify whether citations were issued.



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