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Caltrans Repaves Section of Highway 101 Near Goleta After Tanker-Truck Crash, Gasoline Spill

Collision between Lincoln sedan and tanker-truck and trailer causes 5,000-gallon gasoline spill; northbound Highway 101 lanes near Turnpike reopened Saturday afternoon

Caltrans crews repave a section of northbound Highway 101 near Turnpike Road Saturday after a gasoline spill caused after a vehicle collision involving a tanker-truck and trailer Friday night. Click to view larger
Caltrans crews repave a section of northbound Highway 101 near Turnpike Road Saturday after a gasoline spill caused after a vehicle collision involving a tanker-truck and trailer Friday night.  (Caltrans photo)

A gasoline tanker truck and trailer flipped onto its side after a Highway 101 collision with a sedan near Goleta Friday night, causing a major gasoline spill and full roadway closure. 

As of 3:50 p.m. Saturday, one lane of northbound Highway 101 near Turnpike Road was still closed as vacuum trucks and hazardous materials crews worked to clean up a 5,000-gallon-or-so gasoline spill and Caltrans crews worked to repave portions of the roadway that disintegrated from the gasoline spill. 

Two of the closed lanes had reopened, according to Caltrans.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a Lincoln sedan driving northbound on Highway 101 Friday night collided with the center median and then traveled across all the lanes and crashed into the tanker truck driving in the slow lane. 

The collision tipped the tanker-truck and trailer, which then started leaking thousands of gallons of gasoline onto the roadway. 

The Lincoln driver had a minor injury and was treated at the scene, and the tanker-truck driver was uninjured, CHP Officer Jon Gutierrez said. 

All northbound lanes of Highway 101 near Turnpike Road were shut down while hazardous materials crews responded to clean up the spill, and Caltrans was repaving sections of the roadway "where gasoline disintegrated the concrete," Gutierrez said in a statement. 

A gasoline tanker truck flipped onto its side after a collision on northbound Highway 101 near Goleta Friday night, blocking all lanes while authorities worked on a clean-up effort for the spilled gasoline. Click to view larger
A gasoline tanker truck flipped onto its side after a collision on northbound Highway 101 near Goleta Friday night, blocking all lanes while authorities worked on a clean-up effort for the spilled gasoline. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

Authorities estimated that all lanes would reopen around 5 p.m. Saturday.

Caltrans spokesman Colin Jones said earlier that the crash happened between ramps, so motorists have an "easy detour" to get off at Turnpike Road and then get back on Highway 101 again. 

The collision and spill caused a lot of roadway damage, so the roadway likely won't be reopened until later Saturday afternoon or early evening, Jones said. 

Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said the tanker truck was traveling from Long Beach to Patterson Avenue area, and about 5,000 gallons of its 8,700-gallon load had spilled onto the roadway, the dirt and into a drain in the center divider of Highway 101. 

The trailer attached to the cab of the truck, which had 3,900 gallons in it, was empty after the crash, Eliason said. 

Hazardous materials teams from Santa Barbara County and vacuum trucks from Santa Paula and Bakersfield were working on the extensive clean-up effort, he said. 

Caltrans District 5 set up a hard closure on northbound Highway 101 lanes at Turnpike Road, diverting traffic off the freeway.

All lanes were still closed as of 7:45 a.m. and the California Highway Patrol said on its incident page that the closure could last until early afternoon Saturday. 

Hazardous materials teams responded to a crashed gasoline tanker truck Friday night. Click to view larger
Hazardous materials teams responded to a crashed gasoline tanker truck Friday night.  (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

The CHP is investigating the collision. 

The CHP also announced that State Route 154 would be closed to through traffic indefinitely, between Santa Barbara and the State Route 246 in the Santa Ynez Valley.

There is a Thomas Fire base camp at Lake Cachuma and there have been daily morning closures to make way for fire equipment. 

Locals can get through the State Route 154 closure with proper identification. 

Thomas Fire officials are worried about the blaze's growth Saturday, as strong winds are expected and the blaze has already jumped west of San Ysidro Canyon, where firefighters have held it for the past several days in the hills above Montecito. 

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

There were no major injuries in a collision between a gasoline tanker truck and a sedan on Highway 101 near Goleta Friday night. Click to view larger
There were no major injuries in a collision between a gasoline tanker truck and a sedan on Highway 101 near Goleta Friday night. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
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