Posted on Feb 28, 2012
State Highway 97 was shut down for three days after a semi accident in Gonzales in which a tanker truck overturned, requiring HazMat teams to clean up the spill.
According to accident investigators, the tanker truck struck another vehicle on February 3, causing the trailer to crash onto its side and spill liquid propane on the roadway.
Robert Ramirez of Moulton has identified himself as the driver who was struck by the tanker, saying “I was coming from Circle G and had put on my turn signal to turn onto FM 108 when I heard him coming from behind me…his trailer caught the side of my truck and put me in a ditch. His trailer turned over and his cab went into the embankment.”
Residents within a half-mile radius at the intersection of SH 97 with FM 108 were evacuated due to the spill, and crews from the Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative cut power to the area, affecting roughly 130 customers.
DPS officials said the driver of the propane truck, who spoke little English, received treatment at Gonzales Memorial Hospital and has already been released.
Ramirez told officers he was not injured in the crash, but went to a hospital in Alice for a mandatory drug test per company policy. He is still waiting to receive word from DPS on when he can pick up his company’s vehicle from the accident scene.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has said that the highway will remain closed between FM 108 and FM 1116 until a Hazardous Materials (HazMat) team from Eagle Pass can clean up the scene. As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, DPS said, that team had not yet arrived.