I-70 on-ramp closed for 6 hours

Megan Decker / Graphic Designer

A tractor-trailer overturned just after 10 a.m. on the eastbound on-ramp to I-70 from U.S. 63.

Original reports indicated there were possible injuries and a significant fuel leakage, a news release from the Columbia Fire Department stated.

Firefighters on the scene learned the fuel leak was insignificant, Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said.

“The leak was less than 10 gallons,” he said.

Firefighters at the scene plugged up the leaking diesel fuel tank and put absorbent material on the road surrounding the accident.

The weight of the trailer, combined with the speed the trailer was traveling caused the tractor-trailer to overturn onto the shoulder of the ramp, a CPD news release stated.

The ramp was closed for more than six hours.

The truck was connected to a refrigerated trailer that was carrying 42,000 pounds of pork riblets to a warehouse in Memphis, Tenn., the news release stated.

Most of the riblets were transferred to another refrigerated trailer. The damaged boxes were taken to Columbia’ landfill for disposal.

“The cargo transfer went fine,” Sapp said.

Firefighters remained on the scene for most of the day.

“We stayed at the scene to make sure the truck got up without incident,” Sapp said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Royce Whitlow, of Texas, was the single occupier of the truck, which was the only vehicle involved in the accident.

Whitlow, 27, was not injured and refused medical treatment.

The Northeast Regional Office of the Department of Natural Resources was notified of the fuel leakage. Columbia/Boone County health officials will witness the disposal of the damaged boxes.

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