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Nevada Highway Closed After Tanker Truck Crashes and Explodes

A tank truck loaded with 9,100 gallons of unleaded fuel rolled over and exploded near the Lake Mead interchange of Interstate 15 on August 10, 2011, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Amazingly, the driver escaped unhurt. No other vehicles were involved. The highway itself wasn't as fortunate.

I-15 Closed for Eleven Hours

The crash occurred at approximately 4 a.m. on the highway's southbound lanes. A seven-mile stretch of the highway was immediately closed. Authorities reopened the northbound lanes within an hour and a half. The southbound lanes were reopened by 3 p.m.

Heat From the Fire Damages Interstate

"Unfortunately, the damage to the roadway is a little greater than we thought," noted a trooper for the Nevada Highway Patrol. In addition to clearing debris, maintenance crews also had to deal with cracks in the road surface. Temporary seals were applied, according to a spokesperson from the transportation department. Permanent repairs were still necessary at the time of this report.

Cost of Permanent Repairs

The state still needed to prepare a contract and bring in contractors to mill away the damaged pavement. Next, the pavement is scheduled to be replaced. The total cost of the repairs was estimated to be between $100,000 and $150,000. Department officials noted that the permanent repairs would be completed at night, in order to minimize the impact on traffic.

Trucking Company Expected to Pay the Bill

A transportation department spokesperson indicated that the trucking company was insured and will be receiving a bill for the repairs, in addition to costs incurred for hazardous cleanup activities at the accident location. All trucking companies that haul loads in interstate commerce are required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to carry insurance. Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds are required to carry $5,000,000 of coverage. Lighter vehicles are required to have between $750,000 and $1,000,000 of insurance coverage.

If you or a family member is injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer or similar vehicle, be sure to consult with an attorney experienced in trucking law. He or she will be familiar with the many federal regulations involved and will ensure that your rights are protected.