Overturned Tanker Spills Tar on Foothill Freeway in Sylmar

SYLMAR (CNS) - All lanes of the westbound Foothill (210) Freeway at Yarnell Street in Sylmar were closed for more than eight hours this morning after a tanker truck overturned and spilled hot tar across the freeway.

Firefighters were called about 11:40 p.m. Monday to the westbound 210 east of the Golden State (5) Freeway and located the overturned truck with the driver still inside, but not trapped, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The westbound 210 Freeway lanes were closed while crews worked to clear the scene. One lane was reopened shortly after 8 a.m., a second lane was reopened about 9 a.m., and a third lane was reopened about noon, the CHP reported. The cleanup effort was continuing early Tuesday afternoon, with at least one lane still blocked.

Firefighters helped the man out of the cab, and he was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Humphrey said.

Witnesses said the truck driver was weaving prior to the crash, but the driver disputed that allegation, NBC4 reported.

The crash caused a leak in the tanker, sending tar oozing onto the freeway.

“It started at 160 degrees, as it's cooling, it's getting harder,” California Highway Patrol Sgt. Kenneth Wallace told CBS2 in the aftermath of the crash. “That's why they're (Caltrans crews) having to use steam to try to get it off the roadway. It's a sticky mess, it's like glue.”

Some of the tar spread to the vicinity of Foothill Boulevard and Filbert Street, Humphrey said.

The CHP issued a SigAlert for all lanes of the westbound 210 Freeway, west of Yarnell Street. During the closure, traffic was taken off the freeway at Yarnell Street. It was unclear when the freeway would be completely reopened.

Photo: Getty Images

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