Oxygen truck flips in Lowndes County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Oxygen truck flips in Lowndes County

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –A portion of Lakeland Highway in Lowndes County was closed for 10 hours after an oxygen truck flipped this morning.

One nearby home was evacuated because if the truck had sprung a leak, it could have caused an explosion and fire.

Crews had to bring in two cranes to upright the truck before towing it away.

This is an 85,000 pound oxygen truck that flipped on its side.

Troopers say around one Friday morning, the driver 40-year old David Abshire Jr., tried to turn onto Waters Road when the shoulder of the Lakeland Highway gave way to the weight of the truck. 

The Air Liquide driver was en route to make a delivery to a fish hatchery.

Troopers say the wet roads could have contributed to the accident.

No damage was done to the power lines nearby.

"There was one home adjacent to the scene the people there did evacuate," said Lowndes County Rescue Capt. Ken Carter.

Around 9:30 the truck was flipped upright with two cranes. Luckily, no oxygen leaked out. Firefighters were on scene for safety.

"While the oxygen itself is not exactly flammable it does support combustion and had we had combustion and had a leak, we had the potential for a tremendous amount of fire at that rate," said Carter.

Captain Carter says they prepare for these type of situations through repetitive training.

"All of our firefighters are required to be at least at what's known as the awareness level which means they'll be able to recognize a potential hazard to know how to at least start the initial isolation distance," said Carter.

He says there are a number of different levels when dealing with hazardous materials.

"We have a lot of firefighters that move up to what's called the operations level and they actually are able to do a little more like diking and damming spills and things of that nature," said Carter.

The Lakeland Highway didn't reopen until 11 a.m. Abshire walked away from the accident with no injuries.

Representatives from Air Liquide were on the scene but wouldn't talk to us.

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