FALL RIVER, MASS. (WHDH) - Route 24 in Fall River was shut down in both directions for several hours on Thursday after a 12,000-gallon gas tanker crashed, killing the driver and injuring the operator of a second car, authorities said.
Troopers responding to the area of Exit 8 around 5 a.m. closed the highway after finding an overturned Cape Cod Gas tanker leaking fuel across the highway.
The 67-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene, state police said.
The operator of the second car involved, identified only as a 32-year-old man, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where he is in stable condition, Fall River Fire Chief John D. Lynch said.
“Fortunately, that person survived and when we cut them out of the car, we were very surprised with his condition,” he said. “He was in fairly decent condition.”
The southbound side of the highway reopened around 1:30 p.m. The northbound side opened just before 5 p.m.
The tanker was uprighted and towed away about nine hours after the fatal wreck.
Traffic on Route 24 was detoured at Exit 8A northbound and southbound as the Fall River Fire Department and the Department of Transportation worked to contain the tanker’s gas spill with foam and sand.
“The gas leak is very flammable and very dangerous, which is why we laid down foam,” Lynch added.
Traffic was backed up for many miles at the height of the morning commute.
Ashley Levesque’s typical nine-minute commute took nearly three hours.
“It was pretty bad. I got right on the highway and instantly people were stopped,” she told 7News. “There were people reversing on the on-ramp.”
A hazmat team was called to the scene to offload the remaining gasoline.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)