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I-80 towards Echo Junction opens after propane tank rollover forces evacuation

Crews respond to a rolled semi and propane leak on 1-80 West. (Park City Fire Dept.)

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah– Emergency crews responded to a hazmat situation after a semi-truck carrying 10,000 gallons of propane rolled over on the westbound I-80 ramp to I-84, causing a propane leak Wednesday. Summit County officials say all roads between Coalville and Henefer had to be evacuated, including WB I-80 through the Interchange.

 

Investigators with UHP say a propane tank was exiting westbound I-80 onto I-84, but, the truck reportedly briefly left the road.  Trooper Chris Bishop says the driver overturned, causing both propane tanks to roll.

“The smaller tank went over the side of the road and into a small ravine.  The tank was punctured and all of the propane evacuated from that tank,” he says.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office went door to door, telling people in Echo to evacuate, but, luckily there weren’t many people there.  The accident happened just after one p.m., and I-80 wasn’t reopened until four hours later. 

Bishop says this part of I-80 is one of the worst places for a rollover like this to happen since there are very few alternatives to get from Wyoming to Salt Lake City.  In some cases, the only way around a shutdown would give people an extra three hours of driving time.

“It seems like every little while we see an apple truck, or something, in that same area overturn,” Bishop says.  “We have a similar problem in Utah County from I-15 to Highway 6.”

Officials say even though there are signs warning drivers to slow down, they see semi rollovers at this same interchange all the time.

“Truckers are just taking the turn too fast for the conditions of the road, and also the design of the road.  They aren’t heeding the warning UDOT has placed out there,” according to Bishop.

The tanker driver reportedly had minor injuries.