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Three Hurt in Traffic Crash That Causes Chemical Spill

August 21, 1994|TAMMY HYUNJOO KRESTA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

HUNTINGTON BEACH — A pool service truck involved in a three-vehicle collision spilled 15 gallons of potentially toxic chemicals onto a busy intersection Saturday, causing police to cordon off the area for two hours.

Three people were hurt in the collision, but no one was injured by the chemicals and authorities did not evacuate the area, police said.

The accident occurred at 7:30 a.m. at Atlanta Avenue and Newland Street when the pool service truck, driven by 27-year-old Martin Mota of Lake Forest, ran a red light and hit a car, authorities said. Mota's pickup truck was flipped onto its side, spilling 15 gallons of chlorine and muriatic acid on the road, police Lt. John Arnold said.

Mota's truck was headed north on Newland when it collided with a car driven by Lisa Burroughs, 30, of Huntington Beach, who was headed east on Atlanta, Arnold said. The two vehicles then struck another car in the intersection, driven by Hana Rada, 46, of Laguna Niguel, Arnold said.

It took a Huntington Beach hazardous materials crew and 12 fire units two hours to clear the area and free Mota and Burroughs, who were trapped in their vehicles, said Battalion Chief Steve Parker of the Huntington Beach Fire Department.

The hazardous materials team neutralized the combination of chlorine and muriatic acid, a commercial term for hydrochloric acid, by spraying water and soda ash on the spill, Parker said.

The common pool chemicals were in a concentrated form and could have formed a harmful gas cloud if not neutralized immediately, Arnold said.

Mota suffered head and chest injuries in the crash and was airlifted to UCI Medical Center in Orange. Burroughs, who suffered head and back injuries, was taken to the same hospital by ambulance. Rada was taken to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach with minor injuries, police said.

Mota and Burroughs were in stable condition late Saturday. Rada's condition was not available.

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