Updated: Big-rig spills wax onto freeway

An 18-wheeler that overturned on U.S. 101 held up southbound

A big-rig tanker that overturned, spilling wax just before
Monday evening’s rush hour commute was eventually removed about 12
hours after the accident, police said.
A big-rig tanker that overturned, spilling wax just before Monday evening’s rush hour commute was eventually removed about 12 hours after the accident, police said.

The single-vehicle accident happened about 2:45 p.m., when the driver of a 2000 KW tractor trailer made an unsafe turn and caused the truck to roll onto its side, California Highway Patrol officer Jaime Rios said. The accident happened in the southbound lane of U.S. 101, just south of Coyote Creek Golf Drive.

The driver, Juan Ardina, 50 of Gonzales, initially told police that he was uninjured, but was later transported to an area hospital with complaints of pain, Rios said.

The tanker truck was carrying a heavy load of liquid wax, some of which spilled onto the roadway, Rios said.

The heavy wax load complicated efforts to clear the freeway, and it took until 3 a.m. today for crews to fully remove the vehicle. Tow trucks that first arrived on the scene were unable to turn the truck back onto its wheels, Rios said.

An empty tanker truck arrived at the scene about 10 p.m. Monday to unload the wax from the wrecked big-rig, which was finally towed away about five hours later when it was emptied, Rios said.

Police did not know the exact weight of the crashed tanker truck’s load, but the truck was rated to carry a maximum load of 60,000 pounds, Rios said.

The freeway contains four southbound lanes at the location of the accident, but no more than two of those lanes were open for about 12 hours following the accident, Rios said – causing traffic to back up for miles to the north.

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