Driver killed in toxic tanker wreck near Woodfords | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Driver killed in toxic tanker wreck near Woodfords

Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com

A California Department of Fish and Wildlife photo of an overturned tanker truck that closed Highway 88 on Wednesday.

An estimated 5,000 gallons of a concentrated solution related to bleach spilled during a tanker truck wreck that killed an Oakland man near Woodfords on Wednesday morning.

Gregory S. Brown, 46, was killed when the 2014 Freightliner he was driving rolled near Crystal Springs in Alpine County at about 10 a.m.

According to information released by the California Highway Patrol on Thursday, Brown was traveling east on Highway 88 at a high rate of speed and was not able to negotiate the curves. He lost control of the vehicle and overturned. The tanker trailer came loose from the cab and rolled up the embankment on the north side of the highway.

The tank ruptured spilling the load of hypochlorite solution onto the road and the shoulder. The tractor rolled and landed on its roof, crushing it.

Brown owned the tractor and was driving for Watson Brothers Trucking out of Manteca, Calif.

According to the highway patrol, nearby residents and Diamond Valley School were ordered to shelter in place. Emergency personnel were not able to approach the vehicle until 7 p.m.

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According to CHP spokesman Officer Michael Brown, rescuers didn't know that Brown was in the cab and was dead until they were able reach him.

Authorities don't know whether the driver died from the collision or the chemical.

An unknown amount of the chemical entered a creek bed on the north side of Highway 88. The ditch runs under the road and eventually into the Carson River. Fish & Wildlife and other agencies responded to the wreck.

Highway 88 was closed from Picketts to Woodfords junctions until 10:40 a.m. Thursday.