Contact: Captain John Metz
Duty PIO Pager 573-441-6608 (For Active Emergency Incidents - Leave detailed message)
Office 573-874-7644 (M-F, 8-5)
At 12:18 p.m. Tuesday, September 17, 2013 the Columbia Fire Department responded to a reported crash involving a tractor-trailer unit on eastbound I-70 at the 63 Connector. Several motorists called 9-1-1 to report the crash.
Columbia firefighters and an ambulance from University Hospital arrived on the scene to find the driver out of the wreckage complaining of minor injuries. The driver was transported to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Firefighters then turned their attention to the tractor-trailer unit that appeared to have struck a concrete railing on the eastbound passing lane, jack-knifed, crossed both eastbound lanes and came to rest on its side in the south drainage ditch of I-70. During the crash, both fuel tanks ruptured, spilling approximately 200 gallons of diesel.
To contain any diesel fuel that may have spilled into the drainage ditch, Columbia firefighters placed absorbent booms and pads in the drainage ditch and constructed a filter dam. The truck's cargo appeared to be several pallets of automotive batteries. Most of the batteries remained intact and a contractor has been called in to remove them from the scene.
Three fire engines, a hazardous materials unit, a rescue squad, and several support vehicles responded to the event and remained on the scene for approximately two hours. The eastbound exit ramp to highway 63 remained closed for several hours.
The Columbia Fire Department reminds all residents that seat belts save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.