Overturned tanker closes highway Sunday

Staff reports
A tanker truck overturned on Hwy. 3217 at Hwy. 70 in Donaldsonville Sunday morning.

DONALDSONVILLE – A tanker truck overturned Sunday morning and leaked corrosive material, forcing officials to close the highway until cleanup was done.

Phillip Vallare, 37, of LaPlace, was traveling west on Hwy. 3127, approaching Hwy. 70, in dense fog shortly before 8 a.m. when the 2003 Freightliner truck crashed, according to Louisiana State Police spokesperson Tpr. Russell Graham.

Troopers immediately closed the roadway to traffic upon arriving at the scene, and notified the State Police Hazmat Unit, Graham said.

The tanker was loaded with nearly 4,000 gallons of sulphuric acid, and was on its side in a ditch at the intersection of Hwy. 70 and Hwy. 3127, he said.

Vallare apparently failed to stop at the intersection, swerved to the left, crossed Hwy. 70 as the truck began to rotate counter-clockwise, and entered the ditch, according to Graham.

The truck and trailer came to a rest on its right side in the ditch after striking a utility pole, he said.

Vallare was properly restrained and suffered minor injuries, Graham said.

Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office Hazmat Units also responded to the scene.

The sulfuric acid was off-loaded onto another tanker, Graham said.

Troopers, along with Ascension and St. James Parish deputies kept the two highways closed to traffic until cleanup and removal efforts were completed.

Vallare was treated and released from Prevost Hospital in Donaldsonville.

Troopers cited Vallare with careless operation and failure to obey a stop sign.