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Freeway Reopens 13 Hours After Tanker Crash

January 05, 1986

Southbound lanes of the Hollywood Freeway in Studio City were closed for more than 13 hours late Friday and Saturday while fuel was removed from an overturned tanker truck.

None of the 8,400 gallons of butane spilled and there was no fire, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city Fire Department said. The driver of the truck escaped serious injury.

The accident occurred at 8:34 p.m. Friday in the southbound lanes near Vineland Avenue. Northbound traffic was halted until fire officials determined that the butane was not leaking. The southbound lanes were reopened about 10 a.m. Saturday, officials said.

The cause of the crash was being investigated Saturday, a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman said. But a dispatcher for the trucking company that was transporting the butane from Bakersfield to Wilmington blamed the crash on a car that cut in front of the truck.

The truck's bumper was jammed into one of its wheels when it struck the auto, causing the truck to go into a skid and crash, said Jess Caldwell, dispatcher for Lone Star Trucking Co. of Bakersfield.

The truck driver, Cary Brown, 30, of Bakersfield, suffered cuts and bruises. "He looked like he'd gone 10 rounds with Cassius Clay," Caldwell said.

Caldwell said the crash cleanup took longer than expected because the CHP did not immediately request a pump truck from his company. When officers did call for the pumper, it was on an assignment in the Bakersfield area, he said.

"We'd asked them if they wanted us to send a pump truck down, but they said they would handle it from Los Angeles," Caldwell said. "We'd have had it done six hours earlier if the Highway Patrol had let us."

CHP officials could not be reached for comment Saturday night regarding the pump truck request.

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