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Orange County Focus

IRVINE : Fuel Tanker Overturns Near Base

August 25, 1993|GREG HERNANDEZ

A tanker truck carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline overturned on Trabuco Road on Tuesday afternoon, forcing closure of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station's main gate for nearly eight hours, officials said.

There was no leakage from the tanks, and no one was injured in the accident at 12:50 p.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer Angel Johnson.

"We were extremely lucky," Johnson said. "If this had happened on (Interstate 5), we would have had to close the entire freeway down. We're fortunate that it happened on a side street and didn't really have an impact on traffic."

The driver of the 18-wheeler, Richard Hull, 48, managed to climb out with only a scratch on his forehead.

"Hull was driving southbound, just south of Sand Canyon Road, when he decided to make a lane change," Johnson said. "As he was looking into his side mirror, the vehicle drifted off the right shoulder of the road and overturned."

Fifty-seven firefighters from the Orange County Fire Department and the Marine base went to the scene because of the potential danger.

"It was a very slow process," said Fire Department spokeswoman Kathleen Cha. "The gasoline had to be removed from the tanks before the truck could be returned to an upright position."

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