CASPER, Wyo — Controlled substance charges are pending for the driver of a truck carrying hazardous material that crashed on I-90 in Gillette Sunday, August 23, according to Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP). The driver remains hospitalized with a head injury requiring surgery related to the crash.
WHP Trooper Harley Kelb told Oil City News Monday that the charges are related to the discovery of a controlled substance on the scene of the crash.
According to Highway Patrol the 49-year-old Texas driver was distracted by a GPS mapping display and drifted into a cable barrier which flipped the truck onto the driver’s side.
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According to WHP, 40,000 pounds of hazardous materials including corrosives, oxidizers and flammables were on board the truck. Campbell County Fire Department enacted the initial HAZMAT response, setting up a perimeter and securing some of the materials. Additional HAZMAT units responded from Billings, Montana and Colorado, WHP said, accounting in part for the lengthy closure of the highway through the city limits of Gillette.
Both the Campbell County Fire Department and Wyoming Highway Patrol said there had not been any threat to public safety at any time during the incident.
The road was closed from 5:30 am Sunday until noon Monday, August 24, according to WHP.