Chemical spill closes section of Hwy 20

Chemical spill closes section of Hwy 20
Photo courtesy of Oregon State Police.

NEAR GATES, Ore. – A semitrailer overturned on Highway 20 east of Gates Monday spilling chemicals which forced the closure of that section of the highway for about four hours.

The driver of the truck, from Palmdale, Calif., reportedly lost control just before 2:30 p.m. near milepost 36 while trying to avoid some sort of object on the highway, state police said. The truck overturned on the shoulder and a carton of sodium hydroxide ruptured and spilled onto other chemical containers. That resulted in ammonia fumes.

Officials decided to close that section of the highway until the wreckage and chemicals could be cleaned up.

A 43-year-old passenger from Mohave, Calif. was slightly injured in the accident.

The truck was also carrying food and groceries.

Oregon State Police is still investigating the incident.