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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 10:43 pm | Fair 49º


Diesel Spill Closes Lane of Highway 101 near El Capitan State Beach

Tractor-trailer rig loses a tire, rupturing the fuel tank and sparking a small fire

A semi tractor-trailer rig heading north on Highway 101 near El Capitan State Beach on Saturday lost a tire and spilled 50 gallons of fuel onto the road, causing a lane on Highway 101 to be closed for nearly four hours while crews cleaned up.

About 2:30 p.m., the front tire came off of the truck and landed in the shoulder of the road as it drove through the area.

The truck slid out of control toward a California Highway Patrol sergeant, who was assisting a vehicle on the side of the road. A large fire also started on the front of the truck because of the friction of the roadway.

The truck’s driver, Juan Garibay of Fresno, maintained partial control of the vehicle and steered clear of the sergeant and the vehicle, bringing it to a stop on the shoulder. The truck’s fuel tank then ruptured, spilling diesel onto the road, and the truck’s smoldering front rim exploded.

The fire was extinguished by the sergeant, and several other CHP units responded to help clean up the estimated 50 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled. There were no injuries, and no mechanical defects were found on the trailer.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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