Accident closes Interstate 17 in both directions - Fox 2 News Headlines

I-17 reopens after fatal tanker rollover

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Interstate 17 in north Phoenix is back open tonight after a deadly crash early this morning.

A tanker truck rolled over, killing the driver and spilling oil on the road.

Hundreds of gallons of oil spilled onto I-17.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the driver was headed north when he lost control near Dixileta. The truck slammed into the median, slid up the freeway, and left a deep gouge on the southbound side, it took out a light post before coming to a stop. DPS suspects that driver fatigue may be to blame.

"Based on the factor that he drove on the right side of the road, and he drove into the median, leads us to believe that fatigue may be a factor," said Officer Carrick Cook.

The southbound lanes and some of the northbound lanes were closed for most of the day. Drivers had to battle long detours.

"I was going south to work on the I-17, and I saw it was backed up, so I turned around to take the side streets, and it was just as bad," said the driver.

Cleanup was a challenge; crews had to remove thousands of gallons of oil from the tanker truck, which was pumped into other trucks. Then they had to remove the oil from the road, they piled on dirt to make it easier to move. They then covered the remaining oil with lye that helped clear up any leftover oil.

"It is logistically very difficult, it takes very special equipment and people to do that, and having it all come together at one time is very challenging," said cook.

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