It was a tense morning for some Smith county residents, a tanker overturns, spilling hazardous materials. It happened around 5:00 a.m. on Highway 271 just south of Gladewater, on the Smith-Gregg county line.
The tanker rolled, spilling thousands of gallons of an unidentified fuel within 50 feet of nearby homes. A half- mile radius was evacuated as Haz-mat crews worked to clean up the area.
"Troopers just said it was hazardous material; they didn't tell us anything more than that. I saw it when I heard the sirens this morning," said area resident Jake Norfleet.
The tanker was carrying 44,000 gallons of crude-diesel mix. Around 2,000 gallons were spilled, as police carried out an evacuation of homeowners in the area.
"That's something precautionary at first, unsure as to exactly what he was hauling," said Smith county dps trooper Sandy Taylor.
Investigators say an unidentified oncoming vehicle actually caused the rollover.
"A vehicle came into his lane of travel; he was headed northbound and he went over to the shoulder to avoid striking that vehicle. It went into the ditch and caused him to roll over," said Taylor.
Fortunately. no one was injured including the truck driver, and the damage was kept to a minimum.