On June 29, a semi-truck truck carrying gasoline and diesel overturned at the U.S. Highway 95 bypass, closing the road for some 18 hours. The driver of the Overland Petroleum truck, Calvin Chadwick, 62, of St. George, Utah, called in the accident at 8:16 a.m. June 29.
Respondents included Nevada Highway Patrol, Mineral County sheriff and fire departments, Walker Lake ambulance and Mineral County Search and Rescue among others.
The truck carried approximately 13,000 gallons of fuel, but on scene emergency personnel estimated total fuel leakage at approximately 200 gallons. Mineral County Search and Rescue arrived on the scene, setting up and maintaining boundaries at least 300 yards around the scene.
Sheriff Stewart Handte was not in town at the time, but Deputy Jayke Grant and Lt. Brian Dillard kept him apprised of the situation over the phone. “The driver stated he hadn’t been feeling good since Mina. Apparently some sort of medical condition afflicted him, and he drifted off the roadway,” Handte said.
Handte added that Deputy Grant said Chadwick did not appear intoxicated or under the influence of medication. Care Flight later flew Chadwick to an unnamed hospital in Reno for an unknown medical cause.
Several hours after the accident, a pumping truck from H2O Environmental, a hazardous waste management company in Reno, arrived on scene to remove fuel from the truck. This involved the drilling of holes in the multi-cell tanks and many hours of pumping before Cal-Nevada tow trucks could upright the vehicle and remove it from the scene.
The trucks had the vehicle upright at about 3:48 a.m. The bypass reopened shortly afterward.
“I want to thank everyone involved for their efforts. Once again, we have another crazy situation in less than a week. Considering what did happen and what could have happened, we were very lucky indeed,” Handte said
Handte also had special praise for the search and rescue team: “Search and Rescue did an outstanding job. Once again, they performed above and beyond the call of duty. They were right on scene and handled detours and traffic most proficiently in excess of 18 hours,” Handte said.
Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Merwin said police cited the driver of the truck for the “drive on the right side required” statute. “That means he has to maintain the right lane he’s driving,” Merwin said.
The driver did not suffer injury in the accident.