Tanker Truck Crash Shuts Down Bourne Rotary, Bridge

A gasoline tanker truck leaving Cape Cod overturned and spilled about 5,000 gallons of fuel in the grassy infield of the Bourne Rotary, forcing the shutdown of the rotary and the Bourne Bridge for more than 10 hours, authorities said.

The bridge, one of only two vehicle bridges serving the Cape, and the rotary reopened to traffic at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday as crews continued to clean up the gasoline and the foam that had been poured on the truck to prevent a fire and explosion, state police said.

The tanker carrying approximately 11,500 gallons of fuel tipped over at about 11 p.m. Tuesday near a topiary shaped into the words "Cape Cod."

An estimated 5,000 gallons spilled, said Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Most of it appears to have soaked into the soil, but some of the gasoline and the foam got into the catch basins and made its way to the Cape Cod Canal, he said. What does not evaporate will be contained with booms and removed.

"We'll dig out the soil in the rotary and replace it with clean fill, and the storm drains and catch basins will be flushed," he said.

There was no immediate danger to area homes or businesses, he said.

An oily sheen was spotted on the canal, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class LaNola Stone. But Coast Guard spokeswoman Myeonghi Clegg said later Wednesday that "a lot of the spillage has dissipated" without requiring further intervention.

The owner of the truck will be responsible for paying for the cleanup, Coletta said.

The tanker was owned by D.J. Cronin Inc., of Seekonk, but the cab was owned by the driver, according to state police. A message left for D.J. Cronin's owner Wednesday was not immediately returned.

The driver, Thomas Medeiros, 47, of Westport, was initially trapped in his cab but was able to free himself, state police said. He was taken to the hospital for what are believed to be minor injuries.

The cause of the crash remains under review, but the preliminary investigation indicates the tanker crossed the bridge southbound, and instead of turning into the rotary, crossed into the rotary's grass infield and rolled on its side. Traffic was diverted to the Sagamore Bridge during the cleanup.

Andrew Shea, who was staying at a nearby hotel and witnessed the crash, said the truck appeared to be going fast as it came off the bridge and then tried to turn at the last minute.

This article was originally published on March 25, 2015.


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