Motorist hits tanker, punctures fuel tank spilling 30 gallons of diesel into storm drain


A motorist was reportedly to blame for having sideswiped gasoline tanker on Interstate 5 at noon Monday, puncturing the tank and causing between 20 and 30 gallons of spilled diesel fuel to get into the Valencia storm drain.

The incident happened shortly before noon in the southbound lanes of I-5 at Rye Canyon Road.

“At approximately 11:57 this morning, a big rig collided with a Honda near the southbound lanes of the I-5 Rye Canyon off-ramp,” said Officer Eric Priessman of the California Highway Patrol. “An unknown amount of fuel began to leak from the big rig, and some of it spilled into a storm drain.”

The CHP issued a SIGALERT at 2:30 p.m.for the southbound Rye Canyon on ramp and was expected to stay in place for about three hours.

Firefighters with the Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatched to the traffic collision arrived at the scene at 12:10 p.m., Fire Department spokesman Marvin Lim said.

“This came in as a traffic collision,” he said. “Some vehicle sideswiped the semi, puncturing the fuel tank.”

One motorist notifying the CHP about the incident described the offending vehicle as a green Honda Civic.

More than a half-dozen firefighting crews specially trained in handling hazardous material were dispatched to the scene.

At 4:30 p.m., the county’s Health HazMat units were still at the crash site.

“(At least) 20 gallons of fuel went into the storm drain,” Lim said, noting no one was injured in the incident.

At least 30 gallons of diesel was reported to have spilled onto the roadway and into a storm drain, according to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

“A freight tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle collided at the listed location,” according to an online report posted by the office.

“The incident resulted in a diesel fuel spill from the tractor’s saddle tank to the roadway and a storm drain. The destination of the drain was not known,” the report said.

“The local Fire Department and the California Highway Patrol are on-scene. Health HazMat is en route and a cleanup is pending,” it noted.
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