Propane Truck Crash Occurs in Auburn

Accident Along I-80 Occurs When Propane Truck Goes Off Freeway

Major injuries were reported in Auburn on March 14 when a propane truck experienced a run-off-road accident. The accident happened along westbound I-80 at the Heather Glen off-ramp around 2:24 p.m. The report issued by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said the propane tanker left the roadway for unknown reasons and went down a dirt hill off the freeway.

Placer County Fire Department Responds to Accident

The slow lane was partially blocked by the accident. A semi-truck stopped to assist, and emergency responders with the Placer County Fire Department were called to the scene as well as a Hazmat crew. The freeway was closed down in the area of Heather Glen from Applegate Road. The bridge rail and the cement it was attached to were reportedly damaged due to the accident. 

Driver in Propane Truck Crash Life-Flighted to Hospital

The CHP reported a major injury due to the Auburn propane truck accident, which necessitated a life flight to transport that person to a hospital. An enormous backup occurred along I-80 caused by the road closure. The CHP is investigating to find out how the accident occurred.

Dangers of Propane

Propane is not toxic on its own, but it can displace oxygen and is asphyxiating. So, a propane leak makes it difficult to breathe and results in rapid breathing, a fast heart rate and clumsiness. Trucks that haul propane do so with a good deal of risk. However, the liquified substance in the tank can explode if even a small leak occurs, resulting in an explosion and fires. High temperatures above 120-degrees Fahrenheit can lead to a propane gas explosion.  

Problems with a Propane Truck Crash

Some of the dangers associated with a propane delivery truck accident are:

  • Toxic fumes: Propane is odorless, so those at a propane delivery truck accident may not know they are breathing in the fumes before symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swollen throat, eye discomfort, nausea and vomiting and blindness occur.
  • Sloshing: If the tank is not full, the liquid propane might move around in the tank or slosh. Sometimes, the trucker takes a curve at a high speed or stops suddenly. The movement of the liquid can throw the truck’s center of gravity off, and the trucker can lose control.  
  • Explosion: A spark from a truck crash can ignite the propane. An explosion can result in burns, scarring, and disfigurement.
  • Leaks: A propane truck crash can lead to burns and toxicity to other motorists. The drivers and passengers in the cars can suffer muscle damage and infection.

Causes of a Propane Tanker Accident

As with other traffic collisions, driver error can cause an accident involving a tanker. Lack of proper training, distracted driving, speeding and other errors can end up causing a serious collision. Because a tanker truck commonly weighs around 33 tons, it makes them dangerous due to the potentially hazardous materials they carry and their size and weight. In addition to propane, a tanker may have other flammable, corrosive, poisonous, or even explosive materials on board. Another cause of a tanker collision can include:

  • Vehicle failure: The company that owns the tanker truck is responsible for correctly maintaining it to avoid accidents and can be held liable if it doesn’t. Maintenance includes the powertrain, suspension, tires and brakes, connections and steering. The maintenance and driving records of the company and its driver can be examined to ensure that proper care was taken of the vehicle and the driver had a clean record.

Truck Accident Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Sacramento. When you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you might be able to claim compensation to cover the cost of your injuries. Contact our injury lawyers at (530) 392-9400 for our free and friendly advice. We can look over your case, determine what options are available to recover compensation and answer any questions you have. You can also reach us at (800) 404-5400 or by messaging us online.  

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