Oil tanker spill hampers Friday commute on Highway 2
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, May 08, 2014 10:48 am
Traffic in the southbound lanes of Highway 2 was slowed to a crawl on May 2 after a tanker truck overturned and leaked oil onto the road.
A two-vehicle collision involving an Acura and a tanker truck occurred in the southbound lanes of Highway 2 near Balzac at around 1 p.m. after the driver of the Acura made an unsafe lane change, according to Cpl. Darrin Turnbull of the Airdrie Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU).
“The driver of the Acura attempted to cut in between the tanker and another vehicle and he misjudged the distance,” said Turnbull. “It was raining at the time so roads were slick and visibility was reduced.”
The back end of the Acura collided with the front of the tanker, causing the car to careen into the centre median that divides the north and southbound lanes. After hitting the median, the car bounced back into traffic and caused the driver of the tanker to swerve to avoid a collision, which resulted in the tanker tipping on its side and puncturing a hole in the tank, spilling oil onto the road.
Alberta Environment was called to the scene to assist with the cleanup to ensure the road was safe, but traffic was slowed significantly while clean-up was taking place. Alberta Highway Services put sand over the oil to reduce the risk of other vehicles slipping and causing further collisions.
Traffic was reduced to one lane on Highway 2 while cleanup crews were on scene, with one lane re-opening an hour after the collision and a second an hour later.
“Alberta Environment was still on the scene at around 6 p.m. cleaning up oil that had spilled onto the median,” said Turnbull. “They had to keep the left lane closed while they were cleaning up.”
Both the driver of the Acura and tanker truck were wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision and no injuries were reported.
“Thankfully no one was hurt in this collision,” said Turnbull. “When you’re talking about a collision between a small car and a truck, things could’ve been a lot worse.”
The driver of the Acura, a 20-year-old man from Canmore has been charged with making an unsafe lane change.
Turnbull encourages motorists to follow the ITU on Twitter @QEIITraffic for all the latest traffic updates on Highway 2.