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Falls County road reopened following deadly ammonia leak

Truck driver died after rollover, ammonia leak Friday afternoon
A truck driver was killed in a rollover wreck after being exposed to ammonia Friday.
A truck driver was killed in a rollover wreck after being exposed to ammonia Friday.(Courtesy photo)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 2:17 PM CST
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FALLS COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - Fall County Sheriff Joe Lopez on Monday said the scene of a deadly wreck and ammonia leak is open, but reminded drivers to beware of a cleanup crew still at the scene.

“Crash site is now open on 1240,” Lopez said in a Facebook post, “Please use caution. There is still a small cleanup crew on site.”

The wreck involving a Peterbilt truck tractor semi-trailer carrying anhydrous ammonia happened at about 12:40 p.m. on Friday, November 19, near FM 147 and 1240.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the driver “failed to properly negotiate a curve causing the vehicle to leave the roadway, overturn, and strike a tree.”

Texas DPS further said the tractor-trailer’s tank was “punctured during the crash.”

The Falls County Sheriff’s Office said the driver of the 18 wheeler died from exposure to the anhydrous ammonia. An official with the sheriff’s office required hospitalization after that person was exposed to the anhydrous ammonia.

At the time of the wreck, the sheriff’s office blocked roads leading up to the crash site and urged residents to remain inside their homes during the “active hazmat situation.”

On Sunday, November 21, specialized crews were working to clear the wreck scene by pumping ammonia out of the semi before having it towed.

The name of the deceased driver has yet to be released.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

A hazmat crew is working to contain an active ammonia leak at the scene of a deadly 18-wheeler rollover in Falls County and the public is being told to stay clear of the area near FM 147 and 1240 for “at least 24 hours.”

The wreck was reported shortly before 1 p.m. The Falls County Sheriff’s Office said the driver of the 18 wheeler died from exposure to anhydrous ammonia.

“One Official from the Falls County Sheriffs Office was exposed to the anhydrous ammonia but was transported immediately to a hospital and is reported to be doing well,” the sheriff’s office said.

“This is a hazmat situation. If you live in this area we are urging you to stay in your house. The roadways are blocked stopping all traffic,” the sheriff said earlier in the day.

Late Friday night, the sheriff’s office further urged area residents to “please continue to avoid the area on FM 1240. The roads are CLOSED on both ends. Do not go around barricades, including the county roads that are blocked.”

The sheriff’s office said the “hazmat in the area is very deadly. If you live in the area, keep in mind, there is nothing left behind that is worth losing your life.”

The Waco Fire Department is assisting the sheriff’s office, the Marlin Fire Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety with the regional hazmat situation.

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