Highway 72 reopens after accident

Friday, June 22, 2007

PATTON, Mo. -- A section of Highway 72 in Bollinger County reopened at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, almost 12 hours after a tractor-trailer carrying explosive chemicals overturned five miles east of Patton.

The 10-wheeler had three compartments separating a 56 percent solution of acetic acid, which is found in vinegar, and two oxidizing agents that, although stable separately, could cause a small explosion when combined, according to Marble Hill Fire Department chief Jim Bollinger. He said the acid's compartment had two small leaks, but hazardous materials cleanup crews were able to avoid an unstable situation by shutting off the compartment valves.

The driver of the truck, Scott Martin, 46, of Greenville, Mo., collided with a vehicle in front of him after it stopped suddenly. The truck then swerved into a ditch. Neither Martin, who was taken to Saint Francis Medical Center, or the driver of the other vehicle -- Angela Sides, 33, of Oak Ridge -- was seriously injured.

The highway was closed overnight as hazardous materials teams from Sikeston and Dinanoble, the Scott City company that owns the truck, cleaned up the site.

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